A376 Homepage
Astro 376 (Unique 48595)/ Fall 2013

A Practical Introduction to Research

Current Announcements

Course Overview


Prof. Shardha Jogee
Th 11.00 to 12 am
or by appointment
RLM 16.224
(512) 471-1395
John Jardel
Wed 1 to 2 pm
or by appointment
RLM 17.304
(512) 471-1495

Selected Material from Lectures/Assignments
    You will find below, mostly in pdf format, selected parts of the lecture, such as tutorials, figures, and plots. Many of these materials are password-protected and you will be given the id and password to access them in class. The main notes, explanations, and demos will be covered only in class where in-class quiz/activities will count toward the final grade.

  • As requested by the College of Natural Science, please fill in the CURE (classroom undergraduate reseach experience) pre-course survey. You can also get more info on CURE and access the pre-course survey via the CURE website.
  • The Cosmic Dawn FRI research stream is holding informational open houses on Friday, Sept. 27 (2-3 pm) and on Wednesday, Oct. 2 (3-4 PM). Please visit the open house or/and the above website for more details. You can also contact our UG speaker of last week, Jacob Schmelz (jschmelz at utexas dot edu), who is a mentor of the FRI. He has offered to show the visualisation lab to interested parties.
  • On Tuesday October 8, during class time, please attend the talk and/or visit the poster session at the 2013 Bash symposium. Please write a one-page summary of the talk or poster you saw and hand it in class at the start of Thursday October 10. I will ask you to participate in a class discussion of the talk or poster on Thursday Oct 10.
  • This paper Discovery and Implications of a new large-scale stellar bar in NGC 5248 is posted in response to the serendipitous question by Benjamin on relative orientation of dust lanes with respect to blue stellar spiral arms. Here in NGC 5248, the prominent dust lanes lie on the inner (concave) side of the stellar spiral arms. This can only happen inside the corotation resonance of the feature (e.g., the bar) that is driving the spiral arms. This is because inside the corotation resonance, young stars that form when gas is compressed by shocks, seen as dust lanes, can overtake the pattern or bar. This simple observation led to our argument that the bar driving the spiral arms is the large-scale oval (which was previously assumed to be the outer disk), and to our prediction that beyond this oval bar, there must lie the true large-scale outer disk. Deep observations confirmed this prediction by revelaing this extended large-scale outer disk.
  • IDL Tutorial (Oct 24/2013): This tutorial will involve three assignments due on different dates.
    • The standard library of IDL routines that usually ships with IDL is for some reason not installed on the classroom machines. Many common tasks like 'readcol' and 'forprint' are dependent on these routines and will fail without them. For this reason, you will need to download the IDLastro library and put it in your $IDL_PATH. Please do the following:
      1. Close IDLDE if it is open
      2. mkdir ~/idl/idlastro
      3. cd ~/idl/idlastro
      4. wget http://idlastro.gsfc.nasa.gov/ftp/astron.dir.tar.gz
      5. tar xvfz astron.dir.tar.gz

    • IDL assignment 1 (section 8 in your tutorial) is due at the start of class on Tu Nov 5, 2013
    • IDL assignment 2: Homework 3 is due at the start of class on Tu Nov 12, 2013

    • IDL assignment 3: Homework 4 is due at the start of class on Tu Nov 19, 2013 (extended to Nov 21)
  • Solution set to Homework 3 is provided as a tar gzipped archive file hwk3-sol-tar.gz
  • Solution set to Homework 4 is provided as a tar gzipped archive file hwk4-sol-tar.gz
Extra Class Resources

Contact information and Classes
  • Directory for the UT Astronomy Program
    To secure RLM access after-hours, please contact Rachel Walker (RLM 15.204). To contact the computer helpdesk, please send email to helpdesk@astro.as.utexas.edu with the subject heading "AST 376" or/and walk to RLM 15.320A or 15.320B.

Undergraduate Research

Meetings/Conferences in Astronomy/Astrophysics where undergrads can participate

  • Annual Bash symposium is organized typically every 2 years in October by UT Astronomy department: undergrads can attend and often present posters!

  • Third Annual Texas Astronom Undergraduate Research Symposium on Friday, October 4, 2013, hosted this year by the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rice University. This all-day event will feature 10-15 minute talks by undergraduates from astronomy departments across Texas. Contact Christopher M. Johns-Krull (cmj@rice.edu) for details.

Internet Articles

Astronomy softwares, IDL library, Data Archives, etc

  • The AASTeX LaTeX-based package: This LaTeX-based package that can be used to prepare papers and tables for electronic submission to American Astronomical Society (AAS) journals, such as the Astrophysical Journal and The Astronomical Journal, as well as some non-AAS journals like the Publications of the Astronomical Society.