AST2210 – Observational Astronomy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

An introduction to modern observational methods used in astronomy. Ground and space based telescopes and detectors, imaging techniques and image processing, and spectroscopy will be introduced. The course includes practical exercises.

Learning outcome

Completion of the course provides expertise in the following:

  • insight into how astronomical observations are carried out and the errors caused by the different techniques
  • a practical understanding of the limitations inherent in measurements and the capability of performing observational theses in astronomy
  • an overview of the telescopes used in the visible and other parts of the electromagnetic spectrum
  • an understanding of the techniques used in spectroscopy, interferometry, photometry and polarimetry


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.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

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).

Recommended previous knowledge

Four semesters of the Fysikk, astronomi og meteorologi (bachelor) (Error: [val localized([('ref.comp.' + status)])]: No message found under code 'ref.comp.viderefort' for locale 'en'. programme. FYS2160 – Thermodynamics and statistical physics should be studied simultaneously.


3 hours of lectures and 2 hours of tutorials each week, and in addition practical exercises.

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.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


A final written examination will constitute 70% of the final grade. A mid-term test (home or in classroom) will constitute 30% of the final grade. Letter grades (A-F). A number of compulsory practical exercises without grading will also be given.

Examination support material

All non-communicative calculators

Language of examination

If the course is taught in english, written exams will be given in english only.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

This course offers both postponed and resit of examination. Read more:


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

The course is taught in Norwegian and English.