Students make their first observations on the roof terrace with one of the 12cm apochromatic refractors attached to Skywatcher AZ-EQ6 mounts and photograph them with a special camera. After that they use these pictures to calculate, for example, the depth of a moon crater or the distance to Mars.
Star dome and solar dome
Later in their first year, students can choose a course that involves observations with our big telescopes. In our stellar dome we have a 51cm Richey-Chretien Telescope. In our solar dome we have a 35cm and a 30 cm Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain. With these telescopes, the students not only make beautiful images, but also construct spectra and make luminosity comparisons. Third-year bachelor students can answer fairly complex research questions using their observations.
We also have access to an 8" heliostat that we can use to project high resolution live views of the sun and allows students to undertake daytime observing projects. The heliostat was custom designed and built by Rob Hammerschlag and Rasjied Sloot, and made possible by the Amsterdam University Fund.