Rutgers University Department of Physics and Astronomy

Observational Optical Astronomy
Physics 344 --- Fall 2014

Course Information:

This course provides an introduction to the tools and techniques of modern observational astronomy at visible wavelengths. We will use the 20-inch optical telescope of the Schommer Observatory to carry out astronomical imaging and spectroscopic observations, and analyze these observations using professional image-processing software.

Dr. Tad Pryor, 302W Physics & Astronomy Bldg, 732-445-5500 x5462,
Office Hour: Wednesday 3:00 - 4:30 PM. Alternatively, call or email for an appointment.

Mr. Jean Walker, 332W Physics & Astronomy Bldg,

Lecture: Th period 7 (6:40 - 8:00 PM)
Observing: Su, M, Tu, W, and F nights
Location: 401 Physics & Astronomy Bldg, Busch Campus (enter the door facing Allison Rd and takes the stairs to the 4th floor)
Text: Observational Astronomy, 2nd edition by Birney, Gonzalez, & Oesper, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-85370-5

Image: Composite image of M33 taken with the 0.5m telescope of the Schommer Observatory .


Current Course News

Lab 1 is due Thursday, September 11. Getting the class key-card access to Serin 401 is still in progress. If you want to get into the classroom to use the computers to work on the lab, I will be in my office much of the weekend.

Observing Schedule

If you do not see your name here, you need to tell me what times you are available. For Lab 2 the times are 7:30 - 9:30 PM and 9:30 - 10:30 PM because of the late sunset.

Day Time Student 1 Student 2 Student 3
Sunday 7:00 - 9:00 Y. Cohen R. Geda K. Porter
9:00 - 11:00 A. Dobaria I. Krstevska
Monday 7:00 - 9:00 S. Cheedell P. Chi
9:00 - 11:00 A. Brody L. Valentin
Tuesday 7:00 - 9:00 C. Deegan S. Praturi
9:00 - 11:00 S. Deshpande J. Pinheiro C. Ray
Wednesday 7:00 - 9:00 T. Emami A. Kaufman
9:00 - 11:00 J. Roig R. Belfer
Friday 7:00 - 9:00 R. Gruytch C. Shanahan
9:00 - 11:00 A. Divakarla A. Parikh A. Thuppul

Observing predictions for the Schommer Observatory. In the "cloud cover" line, dark blue is good and white is bad.


Manuals and Handouts

Lecture Slides

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Revised September 11, 2014