TÄHT7038 Methods of observational astrophysics II 5 ECTS
Organised by
Person in charge
Seppo Mattila
Planned organizing times
Period(s) I II III IV
2017–2018 X X
Preceding studies
or corresponding knowledge

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the students should be able to:
(1) Identify and extract raw data together with the corresponding calibration frames from the ESO Science Archive that are relevant to the astrophysical science question being studied;
(2) Reduce these data using a relevant pipeline provided by ESO (use e.g. high-resolution UVES and near-infrared ISAAC spectroscopic data as examples);
(3) Carry out photometry in fully-reduced astronomical imaging observations including both relative photometry and absolute photometry with the full photometric calibration;
(4) Carry out both absolute and relative astrometry in fully-reduced astronomical imaging observations;
(5) Carry out automatic source detection, characterization and photometry in astronomical imaging observations;
(6) Produce a written course report


The course is organized by Tuorla Observatory in cooperation with the Finnish Centre for Astronomy with ESO (FINCA) and is a continuation for the 'Methods of observational astrophysics I' course which is a prerequisite for taking this course.
The course is offered for students from University of Turku, Helsinki and Oulu as well Aalto University. The course includes teaching in the form of lectures and supervised hands-on work on the data. The lectures cover the use of the ESO Science Archive and ESO data reductions pipelines (e.g. reduction and analysis of high-resolution optical spectroscopic and near-infrared spectroscopic data), the common methods for photometry and astrometry, automatic source extraction and characterization in astronomical images. Writing of successful observing proposals will also be discussed as a part of the course. The students are expected to work individually on their datasets and write-up their individual course reports at the end of the course.

Teaching methods

Teaching method Contact Online
Lectures 15 h 0 h
Exercises 40 h 0 h

Homework and data-analysis exercises

Teaching language


Modes of study

Option 1
Available for:
  • Degree Programme Students
  • Other Students
  • Doctoral Students
  • Exchange Students
Participation in classroom work
  • In English

100% participation in the lectures and practical sessions.
100% data analysis exercises.


Numeric 0-5.

Recommended year of study

4. year spring
5. year spring

MSc-degree, year 1 or 2.
Periods IV-V

Study materials

Course hand-outs, original research papers.

Belongs to following study modules

Department of Physics and Astronomy
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Archived Teaching Schedule. Please refer to current Teaching Shedule.
Implementation details are unavailable.
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Physics Education Track
Degree Programme in Physical Sciences
DP in Theoretical Physics
Finnish Study Modules