mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Astronomy 399: Directed Reading and Research

Maintained by LG


Introduction to Observational Astrophysics

Students will learn to use a small telescope and instrumentation (CCD and photomultiplier) by conducting a series of observing projects. The projects will involve observations of variable stars, and possibly searching for extra solar planet transits. This will be part of the process of setting up the new UH observing facility on campus, and students will have input into the observing labs. Meetings will be scheduled with the instructor on a regular basis, and the observing will be conducted at night from the UH Manoa campus. Students should have a solid background in mathematics through trignometry and algebra.

This is a more in-depth lab course than the introductory lab 110L, and is intended for students who really want to learn how to use an astronomical instrument and reduce data. Depending on the weather, the data may be submitted to the American Association of Variable Star Observers. Students will be graded on lab write-ups, as well as performance with the equipment while observing.

Prerequisites are Astronomy 110 or equivalent, and the abovementioned mathematics. Enrollment is limited to 10 students.

Students interested in this course should contact Professor Karen Meech at 956-6828 or via email to