This class introduces the student to the use of small telescopes, either for formal research or as a hobby.
This course covers background for and techniques of visual observation, electronic imaging, and spectroscopy of the Moon, planets, satellites, stars, and brighter deep-space objects. Weekly outdoor observing sessions using 8-inch diameter telescopes when weather permits. Indoor sessions introduce needed skills. Introduction to contemporary observational astronomy including astronomical computing, image and data processing, and how astronomers work. Student must maintain a careful and complete written log which is graded. (Limited enrollment with priority to freshmen. Consumes an entire evening each week; 100% attendance at observing sessions required to pass.)
Elliot, James. 12.409 Hands-On Astronomy: Observing Stars and Planets, Spring 2002. (MIT OpenCourseWare: Massachusetts Institute of Technology), http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/earth-atmospheric-and-planetary-sciences/12-409-hands-on-astronomy-observing-stars-and-planets-spring-2002 (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA