Courses & Units

Experimental Astrophysics, Geodesy and Geophysics KYA407


This Honours level unit will be taught as part of the coursework component of the respective degree. Honours students have some degree of flexibility in choosing their units, and should consult with their project supervisor for the most appropriate choices. This unit is one of four units at the required level that can be undertaken in the Honours year, in addition to the research thesis project. This unit is relevant to those students intending to undertake an astrophysics, geodetic VLBI, or geophysics research project.

The successful design and execution of astrophysical observations requires an in depth knowledge of the telescope, its instruments and their operation. The aim of this project-based unit is to give students a theoretical and practical introduction to fundamental astronomical observation techniques. It will cover the design parameters which govern the performance of radio and optical telescopes, and a range of astronomical observing techniques, including radiometery, spectroscopy, interferometry and photometry. The theory covered in the lectures will be put into practice through a series of observational projects at the Mt Pleasant radio telescope and Bisdee Tier optical telescope, subject to availability.


Unit name Experimental Astrophysics, Geodesy and Geophysics
Unit code KYA407
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Natural Sciences
Discipline Physics
Coordinator Professor Andrew Cole
Delivered By University of Tasmania


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 20/2/2023 21/3/2023 10/4/2023 28/5/2023

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2023 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2023 will be available from the 1st October 2022. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply the principles of radio astronomy signal detection and processing to astrophysical processing
  • Apply the principles of optical and near infrared detection and data processing to astronomical analysis.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses regarding astronomical objects by undertaking a quantitative practical experiment.
  • Analyse electromagnetic astronomical signals across a range of wavelengths to evaluate the physical properties of the relevant objects.
  • Communicate the results of astronomical research projects to an audience of peers and summarise those results for the public.
Field of Education Commencing Student Contribution 1 Grandfathered Student Contribution 1 Approved Pathway Course Student Contribution 2 Domestic Full Fee
$1,037.00 $1,037.00 not applicable $2,836.00

1 Please refer to more information on student contribution amounts.
2 Please refer to more information on eligibility and Approved Pathway courses.
3 Please refer to more information on eligibility for HECS-HELP.
4 Please refer to more information on eligibility for FEE-HELP.

If you have any questions in relation to the fees, please contact UConnect or more information is available on StudyAssist.

Please note: international students should refer to What is an indicative Fee? to get an indicative course cost.



At least one of (KYA320 Advanced Electromagnetism OR KYA3xx Stellar and Planetary Physics OR KYA306 Astrophysics OR KYA322 Solid State Physics & Statistical Physics OR KYA323 Atomic & Nuclear Physics)


Teaching Pattern

3 x 50 minute lecture weekly, 1 x 50 minute tutorial weekly and 2 x 3-hr labs

AssessmentFortnightly Problem Set Assignments (30%)|Optical Astronomy Experiment (35%)|Radio Astronomy Practical (35%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



Required readings will be listed in the unit outline prior to the start of classes.

LinksBooktopia textbook finder

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