Professional Tools for Astronomical Observation

AST80018 12.5 Credit Points Online


  • One Semester or equivalent

Contact hours

  • 150 contact hours - Online

On-campus unit delivery combines face-to-face and digital learning. For Online unit delivery, learning is conducted exclusively online.

2023 teaching periods


HOL Study Period 3

28 Aug 23 - 26 Nov 23

22 Dec 23

Last self enrolment:
10 Sep 23

18 Sep 23

Last withdraw without fail:
13 Oct 23


AST80004 Exploring Stars and the Milky Way or equivalent



Aims and objectives

This Unit aims to provide a good understanding of electromagnetic radiation, focusing on both its emission mechanisms and its subsequent detection, with an emphasis on telescopes and their observations. The electromagnetic spectrum from gamma rays to radio waves will be covered. Students will additionally be introduced to cosmic ray astronomy and the emerging field of gravitational wave astronomy.
Unit Learning Outcomes (ULO)
On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to:
1. Identify the nature of light and recognise that different wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation require different types of telescopes and detectors
2. Differentiate the basic principles of telescope design and compare their use
3. Explain and summarise the principles and techniques of observational astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum
4. Use problem solving skills to explain and synthesise solutions to problems in multiwavelength astronomy
5. Design and create, in a team, a telescope application time proposal, by applying communication skills and assessing relevant astronomical information
6. Apply technical research skills to justify and interpret observational and theoretical propositions, methodologies and professional decisions to specialist and non- specialist audiences