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Special course in observational astronomy (pap308)


IRAF (Image Reduction and Analysis Facility) is a general purpose system for the reduction and analysis of astronomical data.  This course will focus on:

  • Use of IRAF commands, packages, and scripts
  • Basic and advanced image reduction techniques
  • Data calibration
  • Photometric source extraction
  • Surface brightness extraction and modeling
  • Spectra extraction and modeling

This course is a preparation course for the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) observing school.  Only students in this course (or previously have taken) can be enrolled in Advanced Course in Observational Astronomy I.

Course Material

The bulk of the material for this course will be in the form of in-class tutorials that will be later posted to this website.  Additional material that will be helpful includes: 

Class Work

Time: Monday 14-16 or/and Tuesday 16-18, Location: Physicum D211

Each week, there will be two sessions, only one per week is required to attend.  All class work can be done from lab computers using your university login.  Instruction on how to receive data for the tutorial will be provided in class.  It is also possible (and probably more beneficial) to bring your own laptop.  It is up to the student then to make sure IRAF is working on their own machine.  Due to the limited amount of class time, there will be no troubleshooting of computer issues.  The easiest way to acquire IRAF is to install Ureka (  Alternatively, it is also possible to try to new AstroConda (

Unfinished work at the end of each class period is expected to be completed as homework.  The grading will be pass/fail, depending on participation in the tutorials and completion of assigned tasks.

NOT School

This is a national course on advanced observational astronomy, in which astronomy students from all over Finland participate.  The course involves an intense week of Tuorla Observatory during October 30 - November 4 2017.  Remote observations using a 2.6 meter telescope at La Palma will be conducted.  Afterwards, students apply their knowledge of data reduction obtained during this IRAF course and work in groups to prepare a presentation of their results.  Individual reports describing the data acquisition and reduction are used to form the final grade.


18.09.2017Introduction to the BasicsLecture One
19.09.2017 - session 2
25.09.2017Create Master Bias/Flat + Co-Adding Image Frames
Lecture Two
26.09.2017 - session 2
02.10.2017Long-slit Spectroscopy Extraction + Calibration

Lecture Three


 - session 2

09.10.2017Infrared Data ReductionLecture Four
10.10.2017 - session 2

Introduction to Observing + Multi-Object Spectroscopy with NOT

17.10.2017 - session 2

30.10.2017 -


NOT School

(Advanced Course in Observational Astronomy I)

13.11.2017NOT Recap + Data Reduction
14.11.2017 - session 2
20.11.2017Spectral Analysis
27.11.2017Presentation Preparations 
28.11.2017 - session 2
04.12.2017NOT School Presentations
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