Astrophysical Techniques

course ID





14 Weeks

Semester DD


Course details

The aim of this course is to provide a state-of-the-art account of the instruments and techniques used in modern astrophysics. Telescopes, mounts and introduction to real optics. High spatial resolution. Adaptive Optics. Focal Plane instrumentation: photometry and spectroscopy, imaging spectroscopy. Photometry: filters, photometric systems, color indexes, distance modulus and color correction; atmospheric extinction
Introduction to X- and Gamma-optics and to radio astronomy. The detectors: CCD, CMOS, and hybrid sensors. EMCCD for X-ray. Cryogenic systems for the Infra-red. Sampling and control electronics. Calibration techniques.

In the Lab:

• Calibration of a CCD (linearity and Photon Transfer technique);
• Analysis of photometric data.
• Analysis of spectroscopic data.


TRAINING OBJECTIVES: The course focuses on astrophysical techniques, addressing the daily problems encountered by observers in acquiring data from astrophysical sources, introducing some instrumentation calibration and signal maximization techniques.
The course also aims to provide laboratory work skills through direct experiences in the use of instrumentation.

KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Deep understanding of data acquisition and calibration techniques. - Good knowledge of the state of the art of the instrumentation currently in use in astrophysics.
ABILITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING: Understand the measurement limits of the instrumentation. - Ability to analyze astrophysical data-sets independently. Ability to apply basic calibration techniques to astrophysical data.

AUTONOMY OF JUDGMENT: Ability to perform bibliographic searches in astrophysical techniques and instrumentation, selecting the interesting materials and evaluating the main results. Ability to discern which is the best method for measuring an astrophysical source.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS: Ability to present and organize the exposition of a specialist topic of in-depth study of astrophysical techniques and instrumentation.

LEARNING SKILLS: Ability to tackle new fields through an independent study.