PHAS3332 (Practical Astronomy 3: Field Trip) 2008


The Orientation Report is the first of three reports which all students taking part in the Field Trip should write. The Orientation Report should be submitted soon after the return of the Field Trip party from France. It is worth up to 150 marks.

The report should include all six of the items listed below. Because the amount of clear weather can not be predicted in advance, the weight that will be assigned to each item when marking the report can not be stated here. Please limit the length of the report to no more than 2000 words.

1. A brief overview of the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, including some notable work previously carried out there.

2. A description of the 1.20-m and 1.52-m telescopes, and the Aurélie spectrograph.

3. A short introduction to the scientific programme to be carried out on the 1.20-m telescope. Discuss RR Lyrae stars as a class, and why their study is important.

4. A similar introduction for the programme on the 1.52-m telescope. Discuss the class of chemically peculiar stars known as Mercury-Manganese stars.

5. Brief notes on the two target stars that you selected from the list in the spectroscopic observing programme, and on all of the targets in the photometric programme. Include a comment on the visibility of each target during the early, middle and late parts of the night.

6. An Observing Diary, created at the telescope. This should include the sequence in which the targets were observed, any comments on the observations noted at the time they were made, and notes on weather conditions. Include estimates of the magnitude of the faintest stars that could be seen with the naked eye at various times. Note any problems that were encountered with the instruments.