AST2210 – Observational Astronomy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Teaching and exams spring 2022

At the MN Faculty teaching is in-person this spring, but there may still be cases of online or hybrid teaching.

Please see the semester page, Canvas or your regular channel of information for changes in teaching and form of examination.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to modern observational methods used in astronomy. Ground and space-based telescopes and detectors, imaging techniques and imaging, as well as spectroscopy, are introduced. The course contains practical exercises.

Learning outcome

After completing this course:

  • you will get insight into how astronomical observations are carried out and the sources of error that arise from the different techniques

  • you will have a practical understanding of the limitations inherent in measurements and gain the basis for being able to perform observation-based master's theses in astronomy

  • you will have knowledge of an overview of telescopes used in the visible part of the spectrum and other electromagnetic bands

  • you will have an understanding of techniques used in spectroscopy, interferometry, photometry, and polarimetry

Admission to the course

Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

Special admission requirements

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

Four semesters of the Fysikk og astronomi (bachelor) or comparable. FYS2160 – Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics should be studied simultaneously.


Teaching extends over one semester. There are 4 hours of lectures and 2 hours of group sessions/tutorial exercises each week.

It is compulsory to attend the first lecture. Please contact the course coordinator or the study administration before the lecture starts if you cannot be present at the first lecture.

Since the teaching involves laboratory and/or fieldwork, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student. As part of the teaching a compulsory field trip (one day) is usually arranged to the Observatory at Harestua at the beginning of the semester. The exact dates are not set as this depends on the weather conditions.

The field trip to Harestua will not be possible during the 2021 autumn semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


This course has a final oral examination that counts approx. 50 % and 3 written assignments in the form of home exams that counts approx. 50 % in the grade assessment. It is compulsory to submit the written assignments and participate in the oral examination in order to pass the course. The final grade is determined after an overall assessment of the 3 assignments and the oral examination.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed during the oral examination.

A computer will be needed to complete the written assignments. 

Language of examination

Subjects taught in English will only offer the examination in English. You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Special examination arrangements, use of sources, explanations and appeals

See more about examinations at UiO

Last updated from FS (Common Student System) May 19, 2022 5:10:04 AM

Facts about this course

Teaching language