Observational Astrophysics

Course Code: B72002H

Course Name: Observational Astrophysics

Credits: 3.0

Level: Undergraduate   

Lecture Time: 30 sessions, 2 hours/session

Course Description

Astrophysics is a science based on observation, and this course introduces the basic observation equipment, observation methods, etc of electromagnetic wave astrophysics observation of various bands.

Topics and Schedule

1.  Introduction (3 hrs)

   1.1 The concept of Observational Astrophysics

   1.2 The source of stellar information

   1.3 The process of obtaining stellar information

   1.4 The influence of Earth's atmosphere on astronomical observations
2.  Optical Astronomical Telescope (9 hrs)

   2.1 Introduction

   2.2 Physical quantities characterizing the optical properties of telescope

   2.3 Aberrations of the actual optical system

   2.4 Classification of optical astronomical telescope

   2.5 Characteristics and uses of various types of telescopes
   2.6 Frame structure of telescope

   2.7 New progress of optical telescope

   2.8 Astronomical dome

   2.9 Site selection of observatory

   2.10 Introduction of observatory

3.  Radiation Detector (3 hrs)

   3.1 The parameters reflecting Radiation detector performance

   3.2 Photographic plate

   3.3 Optoelectronic devices

   3.4 Self scanning silicon diode array

   3.5 CCD

   3.6 Comparison of detectors used in astronomical observation

4.  The Main Observational Data Required for the Study of Astrophysics (3 hrs)

   4.1 Position of celestial bodies

   4.2 Space motion of celestial bodies

   4.3 The physical distribution, physical state and internal motion of the celestial bodies

   4.4 Physical parameters of celestial bodies

5.  Photometric measurement of celestial bodies (9 hrs)

   5.1   Introduction

   5.2 Photometric system

   5.3 Atmospheric extinction correction

   5.4 Domestication of UBV system

   5.5 Physical information contained in the UBV system

   5.6 UBV system and classification of MK spectra

   5.7 Interstellar extinction and interstellar extinction correction of UBV systems

   5.8 Physical information contained in the uvby (is this correct? Should it be UBV as in previous lines?) system

   5.9 Bolometric magnitude and thermal corrections

   5.10 Methods for measuring the luminosity

6.  Spectroscopic Measurement of Celestial Bodies (9 hrs)

   6.1 Introduction

   6.2 Spectral instruments

   6.3 Common spectrometer

   6.4 Multiple target spectrometer

   6.5 Accessory spectrometer of the 2.16 meter telescope

   6.6 Spectral classification of celestial bodies

   6.7 Stellar spectral analysis

   6.8 Measurement of the apparent velocity of celestial bodies

7.  Introduction to Infrared Astronomical Observation (3 hrs)

   7.1 Basic knowledge

   7.2 Important significance of infrared astronomical observation;

   7.3 Characteristics of infrared astronomical observation and measures being taken    7.4 High altitude and out (should this be “outer”? out doesn’t make sense there) atmospheric infrared astronomical observation

   7.5 Ground-based infrared survey

8. Introduction to Radio Astronomy (1.5 hrs)

9. Introduction to High Energy Astronomical Observation (1.5 hrs)


The proportion of daily performance, midterm, final term test:

Homework 10%, Thesis 30%, Final test 60%

Practice time
The practice time is tentatively arranged at every Sunday night, 3 hours a night, and the class starts in the second half of the semester. Please be aware the time of Saturday afternoon and evening may be taken considering to go to (this part sounds weird. Instead of “taken considering to go to…”, perhaps something like “considered for going to” or “considered to go to”) XINLUNG Observatory.


Self-made courseware


Observational Astrophysics, You-Ran Huang, etc;

Astrophysical Techniques, Jing-Yao Hu;

Observational Astrophysics, Xue-Fu Liu;

Principle and Design of Astronomical Telescope, Jing-Quan Chen;

Astrophysical Techniques, Da-Wei Yang (Translator).