Courses Catalogue

Syllabus of the course: Astronomical Data Analysis

In this web page we provide the syllabus of the course Astronomical Data Analysis, offered by the Department of Physics.
The list of the courses offered during the current accademic year is available here.
The list of all courses offered by the Department of Physics is available here.

InstructorI. Leonidaki
ProgramThursday 9:00-13:00 Computer Room 3
Web page
Goal of the course

This course introduces the basic principles of astronomical data analysis. Emphasis is given in processing CCD images from the 1.3m Skinakas Telescope. The course consists of 10 exercises, and students work on groups of two. As part of the course students also learn how to prepare their own observations with the 1.3m telescope.

SyllabusA brief description of the exercises is the following:
  • CCD image processing: Introduction to the IRAF environment. The physics of CCDs. Bias, dark, flatfields. Defining the aperture size in stellar photometry.
  • Advanced CCD photometry: Identifying sources in a CCD image automatically. Measuring the magnitudes of the sources and converting from one system to another.

  • Colors in Astronomy: Presentation of the color-magnitude and color-color diagrams and their use in estimating the spectral type of a star.
  • The Hertzsprung-Russel (HR) diagram: Understanding the stellar physics behind the HR diagram and its use in open stellar clusters.
  • Globular clusters: measuring their age and distance.
  • Introduction to spectroscopy: Spectral classification of stars
  • Studying the light-curves of exoplanets and binary stars: Estimating the physical parameters of planets and compact objects
  • Classification of galaxies: The Hubble system. determining the radial distribution of light in elliptical and disk galaxies, the de Vaucouleurs profile.
  • Estimating the Hubble constant using the period-luminosity relation of cepheids.
  • Galaxy Spectra: Using the Hubble law to estimate distances
Bibliography1. Lab notes
2. «Astrophysics»- Frank Shu - Vol. Ι & II

University of Crete - Department of Physics  - Voutes University Campus - GR-70013 Heraklion, Greece
phone: +30 2810 394300 - email: