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PHAS 3332 – 2008


PHAS3332 (abbreviated as `3332' in this Guide) is a half-unit course in practical observational astronomy conducted partly at the Observatory in Mill Hill, and partly during a week of field observations (the `Field Trip') carried out at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence (OHP), France. The course is intended to provide further training in the acquisition, reduction and analysis of astronomical observations. The course is open to students in the third year of the B.Sc. and M.Sci. degrees; the content of 3332 is identical for both degrees. Course 3330 is a prerequisite for course 3332. Assessment of 3332 is continuous: there is no closed examination associated with this course. Several orientation sessions are held at UCLO in the weeks before departure for France. Further sessions, for data reduction and analysis, take place at UCLO after the return to London.

The Field Trip will involve carrying out observing programmes on two of the telescopes at OHP. The first of these involves CCD imaging photometry of pulsating variable stars on the 1.20-m telescope. The second programme is devoted to high-resolution spectroscopy of chemically peculiar stars on the 1.52-m telescope. Each student participant will execute part of both observing programmes, then all of the observations will be pooled for analysis and description in a report written separately and individually by each student.

Each student is expected to submit three written reports for the course:

1. An Orientation Report, to be submitted before the departure of the Field Trip party for France (worth up to 150 marks);

2. A report on Imaging Photometry of Pulsating Variables, to be submitted by the final deadline for course 3332 (worth up to 250 marks);

3. A report on Stellar Spectroscopy with the 1.52-m Telescope, also to be submitted by the final deadline for course 3332 (worth up to 400 marks).

The final deadline for course 3332 is the end of the Second Term: Friday, 2008 March 19.

All reports must be submitted in duplicate, so that they can be marked independently by two markers.


The Field Trip has been allocated time on both the 1.20-m and 1.52-m telescopes at OHP. The observing run will begin at 14:00 on 2008 January 25 and finish on the morning of January 31 (six nights in total).

Travel arrangements. Participants will travel by train from London Saint Pancras station to Avignon TGV station, where they will be met by OHP drivers and taken to the Observatory. The party will depart London on Thursday, January 24 and be back in London on Friday, February 1. Click here to see the itinerary.

The first orientation session will take place at UCLO on 2008 January 17 (Thursday), between 18:00 and 21:00. Every student taking part in the Field Trip must attend all orientation sessions.

Student Participants: Laura de Poitiers, Emile Doran, Maria Duffy, Omar Gardner, Kalle Karhunen, William Lyne, Ingo Waldmann and Laura Watson. Click the following link to see the observing groups and target assignments.

Staff: Stephen Boyle, Mick Pearson and Iraklis Konstantopoulos

A useful resource, provided by Thomasin Renshaw in 1999: French vocabulary for astronomy.

Stephen J. Boyle
Organiser, Course 3332
Telephone (direct line): 020 8238 8878