Astronomical Techniques

University of Cape Town

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Astronomical Techniques

  • Host University

    University of Cape Town

  • Location

    Cape Town, South Africa

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    Course entry requirements: PHY1004W and MAM1000W (pre-requisites), or
    PHY1023H and MAM1005H (pre-requisites) and PHY1004W and MAM1006H (co-requisites)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course outline:
    This course combines a large practical component (radio and optical astronomy practicals) with theoretical background in astronomical techniques, instrumentation and data analysis. The techniques, instrumentation and data analysis section includes: Positional astronomy: time systems, spherical astronomy, coordinate systems and conversions, astrometry; Detection systems: interaction of radiation and matter, ultraviolet and optical detectors; Optics and telescope design; Multi-wavelength astronomy: infrared, ultraviolet, x-ray and gamma?ray astronomy, fundamentals of radio astronomy; Observational techniques: photometry and spectroscopy; Orthodox statistics: probability distributions, Chi-squared distribution, propagation of errors; Stochastic processes and noise: photon noise.

Course Disclaimer

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.