UCL Observatory (UCLO)


Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate practical courses at UCLO are taken by students on astro-related undergraduate degrees at UCL.

Other degree-stream students also take these courses: e.g., Natural Sciences undergraduates specialising in astrophysics take PHAS0003 in their second year, and have the option to take the third-year practical courses.

The undergraduate courses available are:

PHAS0003: Practical Astronomy 1

Course Organizer: Dr Steve Fossey
T: 020 8238 8876 
E: s.fossey@ucl.ac.uk

The first-year Practical Astronomy course is conducted at the Department's observatory in Mill Hill, NW London - the University of London Observatory (UCLO). Instruction is given in the use of telescopes and CCD cameras, used by students to observe on clear evenings. There are set experiments which make use of prepared materials, designed to demonstrate important concepts in astronomy, complementing the material taught in lecture courses at UCL, and introducing students to techniques of measurement used in astrophysics.

PHAS0003: Moodle

PHAS0043: Practical Astronomy: Techniques

Course Organizer: Dr Steve Fossey
T:  020 8238 8876

PHAS0043 is an undergraduate (Year 3) course in observational astrophysics taught at the UCL Observatory in Mill Hill, NW London. It is designed to teach contemporary research methods used in optical observational astrophysics, focussing on techniques for the acquisition, reduction and analysis of astronomical data for photometry and spectroscopy. Students gain experience in using computer-controlled (robotic) telescope systems and digital cameras, and software for image and spectroscopic analysis.

PHAS0043: Moodle

PHAS0044: Practical Astronomy: Applications

Course Organizer: Stephen Boyle
T:  020 8238 8878
E: s.boyle@ucl.ac.uk

PHAS0044 (option with PHAS0113) builds on the experience obtained in PHAS0043 (Techniques). Observations are made with UCLO's C14 telescopes, whether in robotic mode or hands-on; students also make use of archive image data from UCLO, and combine this with their own observations where possible. Students apply software tools and applications introduced in PHAS0043 to undertake two short projects involving an analysis of astrometric, photometric, or spectroscopic data.

PHAS0043: Moodle

PHAS0113: Astrophysics Group Project

Course Organizer: Stephen Boyle
T: 020 8238 8878

PHAS0113 (option with PHAS0044) introduces students to a project-team approach in performing a research-grade observation proposal, with groundwork preparation ahead of the proposal submission, data analysis, task breakdown and planning and the writing up and presentation of results. This will simulate the kind of working pattern they would encounter as professional astronomers. Students apply techniques of observational astronomy to in-depth scientific projects based on digital imaging, photometry, or spectroscopy, and guided by an academic mentor. The project teams will aim to obtain their own data, using the telescopes at UCL Observatory (either in person in robotic mode) and by accessing robotic telescopes at other observatories overseas.

PHAS0113: Moodle