Institution: various
Hours Equivalent Credit: 20
Assessment: Exam

Course Summary

This course looks into the origin, evolution and distribution of life  in the Universe, broadly considered as ‘astrobiology’. The objective of the course is to provide a perspective in geology, biology and chemistry at an introductory level.
Lecturer: Nicolas Labrosse
Institution: Glasgow
Hours Equivalent Credit: 17
Assessment:  50% oral exam, 50% report on computer-based project

Course Summary

This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the physical processes at work in the solar atmosphere, and to the principles and practice of research in the physics of the solar atmosphere. It is compulsory to all students enrolled on the MSc in Astrophysics, and optional to all students on the MSc in Theoretical Physics.

Its aims are:

  • To develop the students’ knowledge of emission processes of electromagnetic radiation; plasma physics; instrumentation; data analysis; theory and modelling – all in the context of the study of the solar atmosphere.
  • To offer initial training in solar physics research which will be useful for students interested in pursuing a career in astrophysics or theoretical astrophysics.
Lecturer: Aleks Scholz
Institution: St Andrews
Hours Equivalent Credit: 10
Assessment:  mock observing proposal as homework

Course Summary

This course will enable PhD students to carry out astronomical observations with large telescopes. The course includes 5 lectures on the basics of professional observations, given by observatory director Dr. Aleks Scholz, covering planning observations, proposal writing, calibration, feasibility, operating large telescopes, future facilities, and on-the-fly data reduction. This core will be complemented by 5 lectures on specialised observing techniques, given by staff members in St Andrews, e.g. multi-object spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, integral field units, submm interferometry. The course will include observing training with the James Gregory Telescope in St Andrews.

Each group will be assigned a week of the semester for nighttime observations under the supervision of Dr. Aleks Scholz. For students outside St Andrews the practical training is organised as residential  course in 1-2 weeks of the semester.