TTh 3-4pm

W 2-4pm

Woolley Seminar Room


Stop by my office (D.110) or email me (anne.medling (at)

Course Announcements

Class starts Tuesday February 23, 2016. Note: attending class is expected and required! Please let me know if you will be out for any reason.

24 May - This final week of lectures will be workshop / office hours style. Bring any remaining assignments you are working on, and I will be available to answer questions.

10 May - There will be no lecture today (Tuesday). Instead please see the CMD project now posted below and come prepared (with laptops) to discuss it on Wednesday. The data needed for the project can be downloaded here.

18 April - Adjusted scheduling:
Tuesday 19 April: 3-4pm as normal
Wednesday 20 April: 2-4pm -- meet in Possum Hall for AO Lab tour
Thursday 21 April: 2-4pm - TAC Meeting in usual room
The radio interferometry unit has been moved to 17-19 May, so there will be no class 26-28 April.

5 April - Please find the class proposals here for you to read and comment on for part B. Our TAC meeting will be in class on Thursday 21 April.

27 March - In light of the additional Keck proposal deadline this week, I've received a number of queries about the observing proposal assignment.
1. To make it fair for everyone, yes, all class proposals must be limited to a 2-page PDF. If you have just submitted a 3-4 page proposal, you should invest an hour or two thinking of how to cut it down to the most useful and convincing arguments. (This is a great skill to work on, as you often will have to distill your ideas into a title, a single sentence, a paragraph, a page, two pages, etc.)
2. So that those of you who are submitting a Keck proposal take the time to focus on it before its deadline, I'm extending the class observing proposal deadline for everyone until 5pm Monday April 4th. (Note that this does slightly shorten the amount of time you have to complete Part B, reading everyone else's proposals.)
3. If you are planning to submit your proposal in the future, for Part C of this assignment (proposal resubmission), you are welcome to turn in a longer proposal if you wish, in order to match whatever proposal requirements you have.

22 March - For the WiFeS assignment, question 8 should refer to question 7, not question 3.

21 March - Class tomorrow will be "office hours" style: bring your assignments to work on as a group and I'll be around to help with questions. Nominally 2-3pm, but I'm willing to stay until 4pm if people are interested.

17 March - Logfile and data from today's observing can be downloaded here

10 March - Don't forget, class next week will have an adjusted schedule:
Tuesday March 15: 3-4pm as normal
Wednesday March 16: 2-3pm only
Thursday March 17: 9am-noon - WiFeS Project Observing

8 March - In HW2, Q9, equation should read:

In HW2, Q5 should now read: "5. Plot mST-mAB vs wavelength. What shape are you plotting? Do these systems ever agree? If so, at what wavelength? What is the magnitude in AB/ST at that point, using the Vega flux density around that point? Calculate the corresponding Vega magnitude."


This course will cover a wide range of observational techniques, including preparations for and observing strategies in optical, near-infrared, and radio wavelength regimes. We'll talk about error propagation and signal-to-noise ratios and a limited amount of modeling.


HW 1 - due 5pm Friday 4 March
HW 2 - due 5pm Friday 11 March
HW 3 - due 5pm Friday 18 March
WiFeS Project - due 5pm TUESDAY 29 March
Project TAC - Part C due 5pm Friday 13 May
Spectroscopy Project - due 5pm Friday 29 April
CMD Project - due 5pm Friday 27 May
Radio Project - due 5pm Friday 27 May

Slides from Class

23 Feb - Intro
24 Feb - Telescopes
24 Feb - Observing Proposals
25 Feb - Targets
1 Mar - Fluxes
2 Mar - Noise
3 Mar - Error Prop
8 Mar - Detector Noise
9 Mar - Detector Noise II
11 Mar - ETC Discussion
15 Mar - Calibrating Data
16 Mar - WiFeS Planning
21 Mar - Photometry
23 Mar - PSFs
29 Mar - Geometric Optics
30 Mar - Spectroscopy
31 Mar - Spectrographs
19 Apr - Adaptive Optics
3 May - Testing Models
4 May - Testing Models 2
5 May - Monte Carlo Simulations
11 May - CMDs
18 May - Radio Images
More radio interferometry slides can be found here