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AST 152M · Stellar Astronomy Lab    1   2   3  

crux Elements of the Lab Report
Introduction/theory: Why are you doing the experiment? What is the phenomenon you are looking for and what is the scientific relevance behind the phenomenon?

Procedure: What method(s) did you use to observe the phenomenon? Why did you use that method(s)?

Data: What data did you get? Present your final results in tables and graphs so that their importance is immediately recognizable. How many times did you repeat each measurement? To what accuracy are your measurements? Did your experiment suffer any gross errors?

Results/Conclusion: Summarize your results and discuss their meaning. Are there expected values that you can compare your experiment to? How do your results compare with your original hypothesis?

There will be 4 observing labs during the semester. You will have two or three weeks to complete the observing labs. In addition to the observing labs, a 5th Lab (library lab) will be completed individually by each student. This lab will involve library research in preparing for an observing run. Since this lab does not require the use of the telescope, it provides an excellent opportunity for students to take advantage of cloudy nights. It is strongly recommended that students complete this lab well before the final due date so as to minimize the work load toward the end of the semester. Handouts and assigned readings for each lab will be given to the students prior to the start of each lab segment.

Semester Schedule (note, this is still subject to change, depending on when the CCD arrives):

Week 3-Week 4
Organization of lab groups
Orientation for the telescope and the computer lab
Week 5-Week 6 
Lab 1: Introduction to the sky, telescope, and image processing
Lab 1 write-up due 10/7
Week 7-Week 8 
Lab 2: Characterization of the CCD detector
Lab 2 write-up due 10/21
Week 9-Week 12 
Lab 3: Photometry of stars using broadband color filters
Lab 3 write-up due 11/18
Week 13-Week 15 
Lab 4: Putting clusters on the HR diagram
Lab 4 write-up due 12/9

Lab 5 (library lab) is due by 11/23 (the Wednesday before Thanksgiving), but students are urged to turn it in before this date.

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13 September 2005
Astronomy Program · The University of Texas at Austin · Austin, Texas 78712
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