Astro-lab Winter term 2016/2017


The astrolab procedure in a nutshell. The talk by Caroline Gieser at the end of the first lecture on Introduction to Astronomy and Astrophics held on Oct 20 2017 can be found here.

Important note: The astro-lab February 20 - March 3 is already booked full!!!
At present, we can put interested candidates on a waiting list only. Pls. consider to attend the astrolab from October 2 - 13 2017 instead. Registration will be open by mid-March 2017. Students interested should drop me a mail to pre-register. Participation in October is than guaranteed. For logistical reasons official registration will be required. I will sent out an E-Mail to all on the list once registration is open than.

The preliminary list of participants can be found here.



Note: As part of the astro-lab to be held from February 20 - March 3 2017, observations will be carried out with the 70cm telescope of the Landessternwarte Heidelberg. Since weather is normally pretty poor in February/March, the observations will be performed during the lecture period in the Winter-term 2016/2017. Observing sessions are offered Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday. Since we suffered from bad weather in previous Winter seasons (mostly one or two out of 30 nights offered were useful) we will - as during last Winter - carry out the observations with two groups, with at least 4 and up to 6 students each back to back. The first group at a given day is at the telescope from 16.30h - 19:30h, the second group from 19:30h - 22.15h (note that the first group will arrive before sunset and will start with the observations somewhat later thus the longer time for them at the Königstuhl).

The following dates in Winter 2016/2017 are offered:

Date Start Observer Comments Assistant
31. 10. 16:30h Tomicic, Disch, Wilke, Anagnos clear Gieser
31. 10. 19:30h Knierim, Vetter, Teßmann, Conen, Brandt clear Gieser
2. 11. 16:30h Jaura, Ihssen, Jacob rain Gieser
2. 11. 19:30h - - Gieser
7. 11. 16:30h Wenzl, Preis, Kaap, Erhardt, Vourellis, Michl cloudy Gieser
7. 11. 19:30h Mayer, Polychronidis, Scharre, Kopf, Manshausen, Engeln cloudy Gieser
8. 11. 16:30h Jaura, Wilke, Yulong cloudy Gieser
8. 11. 19:30h - - Gieser
9. 11. 16:30h - - Gieser
9. 11. 19:30h Conen, Brandt, Jacob, Morgenthaler, Vasilyev cloudy Gieser
14. 11. 16:30h Ruder, Kovalev, Hubig, Wenzl, Preis, Kaap cirrus Gieser
14. 11. 19:30h Erhardt, Mayer, Polychronidis, Conen, Manshausen cloudy Gieser
15. 11. 16:30h Rembeck, Hassan, Jaura, Wilke, Michl, Bustamente rain Gieser
15. 11. 19:30h Hörl, Beckmann, Vourellis, Brandt, Kopf, Engeln rain Gieser
21. 11. 16:30h Schmalhofer, Bhandare, Hassan, Erhardt cloudy Gieser
21. 11. 19:30h Jacob, Morgenthaler, Polychronidis, Conen, Manshausen cloudy Gieser
22. 11. 16:30h Rembeck, Mayer, Wilke, Vourellis cloudy Gieser
22. 11. 19:30h Jaafar, Göller, Hörl, Bustamente, Vasilyev cloudy Gieser
23. 11. 16:30h Yulong, Michl, Jaura, Klassert, Stadler cloudy Gieser
23. 11. 19:30h John, Brandt, Kopf, Engeln, Beckmann cloudy Gieser
28. 11. 16:30h Law, Schmalhofer, Erhardt, Göller, Bustamente, Weber clear Gieser
28. 11. 19:30h Mayer, Conen, Jacob, Emmel, Jäschke, Michl clear Gieser
29. 11. 16:30h Jaura, Rembeck, Kaap, Vourellis, Yulong clear Gieser
29. 11. 19:30h John, Prado, Rendal, Jaafar, Hörl, Engeln clear Gieser
30. 11. 16:30h Stadler, Manshausen, Brandt, Kopf, Klassert, Hassan cloudy Gieser
30. 11. 19:30h Polychronidis, Bhandare, Morgenthaler, Vasilyev, Beckmann cloudy Gieser
5. 12. 16:30h Brandt, Kopf, Klassert, Manshausen, Stadler clear Gieser
5. 12. 19:30h Mehta, Polychronidis, Morgenthaler, Beckmann, Vasilyev clear Gieser
6. 12. 16:30h Rendal, Engeln, Michl, Weber clear Gieser
6. 12. 19:30h Prado, Hörl, Jaafar, Hassan, Picotti clear Gieser
7. 12. 16:30h Engeln, Michl, Weber, Hassan - Gieser
7. 12. 19:30h - - Gieser
12. 12. 16:30h Bhandare - Gieser
12. 12. 19.30h - - Gieser
13. 12. 16:30h - - Gieser
13. 12. 19.30h - - Gieser
14. 12. 16:30h - - Gieser
14. 12. 19:30h - - Gieser
19. 12. 16:30h - - Gieser
19. 12. 19:30h - - Gieser
20. 12. 16:30h - - Gieser
20. 12. 19:30h - - Gieser
21. 12. 16:30h - - Gieser
21. 12. 19:30h - - Gieser


Astro-lab staatsexamen, diploma and PhD students: February 20 - March 3, 2017

Dates: Monday, February 20 through Friday, March 3 2017, full day, starts at 9:15 AM daily


Astro-lab Bachelor students WPAstro3:

Alternatively February 20 - 24 or February 27 - March 3 2017.

Dates: Monday, February 20 through Friday, February 24 2017, full day, starts at 9:15 AM daily

Dates: Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 3 2017, full day, starts at 9:15 AM daily


Astro-lab Master students MVAstro1:

Alternatively February 20 - 24 or February 27 - March 3 2017.

Dates: Monday, February 20 through Friday, February 24 2017, full day, starts at 9:15 AM daily

Dates: Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 3 2017, full day, starts at 9:15 AM daily


  • Location: Landesternwarte Heidelberg
  • Organized by: Prof. Dr. J. Heidt and Prof. Dr. A. Quirrenbach

  • Registration for astrolab
    • Ms Wright, LSW Heidelberg, Tel: 06221 - 541781 or online (preferred). If the former, please provide address, phone number and course (staatsexamen, diploma, PhD, bachelor or master). In case of bachelor or master, pls. provide also the week preferred and matriculation number.

  • Registration for and preparation and execution of observations
    • Pls. indicate your availability for observations with the 70cm telescope via DOODLE . Every Thursday the actual list of observers will be updated and posted above, so check that regularly. On a given day, Caroline Gieser will decide between 1pm and 2pm if observations will indeed be carried out (weather dependent) and inform you either via E-Mail or phone. To go up to the Königstuhl you should take the Bus Nr. 39 at 16.00h or 19.00h from the Bismarkplatz, respectively, depending on the session your are assigned to. After the observations you can take the bus Nr. 39 down at 19.30h or the Ruftaxi at 22.28h. The Ruftaxi must be called 30min in advance (06221-302030). Caroline Gieser will take care of this. Note that the Ruftaxi is free of charge of you have a semester ticket, otherwise the fee is 1,50 Euro. You should also download the script for this Task and work on sections 1 and 2 for the preparation of the observations.

  • Further information:

  • Procedure: There is no special preparation for the astro-lab required. Altogether 10 tasks will be offered. An introduction to the tasks can be found here. During the one-week astro-lab about 3-5, during the 2-week astro-lab about 9-10 tasks shall be worked on in groups of two (scripts will be given on site). Individual tasks will be assigned by the organizers. Once a task is completed by an individual group, it will be discussed with one of the responsible assistants. There is no need for a written summary or any homework.

  • Literature: It would be useful to bring your own textbooks, e.g.
    • Schneider: Extragalactic astronomy and cosmology
    • Shu: The Physical Universe, University Science Books

  • Very useful: Bring your own notebook for working on the tasks and/or searches in the internet (WLAN/DHCP available). For the data reduction as part of Task 1 dedicated notebooks are available. Knowledge of SW-tools like Origin, Excel or Gnuplot to e.g. fit functions to data would be an asset.


The next astrolab will be held from October 2 - 13 2017.


Maintained by Jochen Heidt
Last modified: 1. 12. 2016