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These pages contain a description of AST4310 and additional resources. The pages at the University web site will still be updated (in particular the messages), but the bulk of the materials will be linked here.


  • Four hours of lectures and two hours of exercise classes per week (see calendar)
  • Classes will be held in person unless otherwise directed
  • See separate page for syllabus and literature
  • The course's github repository contains all project notebooks, and will be populated with additional resources as the semester progresses


  • TBA


The final grade is determined by an assessment of five projects. The following table lists deadlines for handing in each project, how much each project weighs in the final grade, and the topic of each project. More details can be found under projects. You need to take only one of the options of Project 5.

Deadline Weight Topic
Project 1 16 Sep 10% Basic spectral line formation
Project 2 07 Oct 15% Line strengths and curve of growth
Project 3 28 Oct 25% La Palma
Project 4 18 Nov 25% Solar continua and LTE line formation
Project 5 09 Dec 25% Different options:
  • 3D Radiative Transfer
  • Scattering
  • Polarised Radiative Transfer

Required software and tools

This course will have a strong computational component. Computations are not the end goal, but they will be an important tool to understand the topics we will cover. Research in astrophysics is becoming more and more computational; the course will equip students with the strategies and skills to deal with modern astrophysical problems.

Students are expected to have their own laptops, and bring them to classes (including lectures!). We will make use of JupyterHub, so all you need to run the examples, exercises, and projects is a computer with internet access!

The projects are in the Python programming language in Jupyter notebook format. More details about the software and computing environment can be found in software and tools.