Learning and Teaching
Astrocampus is the focus of practical work in the Physics with Astrophysics programme across all stages. Astrophysics students are inducted to the site in their first few weeks at university and then have freedom of use of the telescopes on site for coursework and personal enjoyment. The observatory also provides optional practical observing for students on the Postgraduate Diploma in Astronomy.
Some examples of observing and practical astrophysics students are
- Stage 1 -students begin their observing in a group project imaging and measuring the motion of the moons of Jupiter or measuring the brightness of stars to determine their distance.
- Stage 2 -students focus on solar observing with specialist telescopes. Activities include measuring sunspots and the differential rotation of the Sun.
- Stage 3 -students in MPhys programmes have a laboratory module held on Astrocampus. A variety of solar, radio and infrared projects are offered including measuring hydrogen clouds in the galaxy, limb darkening in the Sun and magnetic storms on Jupiter.
- Final year astrophysics students can select a practical observing project. Past examples have included measuring and classifying meteors, determining the heights of craters on the moon and investigating methanol masers in the galaxy.
Students have independent access to Astrocampus and the telescopes for coursework and personal enjoyment.