Image of M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, taken with the University of Iowa's Rigel robotic telescope located at Winer Observatory in southern Arizona.
Welcome to Imaging the Universe, the University of Iowa Department of Physics and Astronomy's set of introductory, intermediate, and advanced astronomy labs. The goal of these labs are to teach students the principles of observational astronomy with an emphasis on critical thinking and analysis of astronomical data.
The exercises within this website have been designed to be both challenging and fun, and to give students a taste of what real astronomical research is all about. Along with helping students learn the facts and concepts presented during class lectures and in their textbooks, these labs will teach them to plan and analyze their own observations using a computer controlled telescope and CCD camera.
While studying the solar system, students will investigate the height of lunar features, explore the surface of Mars, determine the mass of Jupiter, study solar rotation and solar flares, and follow the motion of asteroids. Moving into stellar resarch, they will measure the surface temperature of stars, study the size of the envelopes of dying stars, and study the properties of star clusters. There are even projects to study distant galaxies and quasars.