Examples of the Courses

Introduction to plasmaphysics

Course description:

Plasma is an ionized gas containing enough free charges so that collective electromagnetic phenomena are important for its dynamics. About 99.9% of the visible matter in the universe is plasma. During this course, students learn of charged particle motion in plasmas through topics such as single particle description, collisions, dielectric response, kinetic theory and magnetohydrodynamics, whilst delving into applications including wave propagation, dispersion relations, MHD shocks, convection, diffusion and reconnection. A good understanding of basic plasma physics builds a solid foundation for analysis of many astrophysical phenomena.

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Methods of observational astrophysics I

Course description:
The 5-day intensive course is offered for students from University of Turku, Helsinki and Oulu as well Aalto University. The course consists of lectures in the afternoon and practical night-time work using the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) remotely. The lectures cover observational techniques, preparation of observations and the common methods used for reducing and calibrating optical and near-infrared imaging and spectroscopic data and polarimetric observations. Suitable astrophysical examples are used to illustrate the value of the different observing modes. The practical sessions include the preparations, and taking the observations as well as starting the data reductions and analysis. The students are divided into five groups, and each group has access to the telescope for two half night runs using two different instruments. Read more about the educational programmes at the Nordic Optical Telescope.

Ongoing observations with the NOT:

Methods of observational astrophysics II

Course description:

The course concentrates on reductions and analysis of data obtained with the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT) and is offered for students from University of Turku, Helsinki and Oulu as well Aalto University. The course includes teaching in the form of lectures and supervised hands-on work on the data. The lectures cover the use of the ESO Science Archive and ESO data reductions pipelines, as well as the common methods used for photometry and astrometry. During the course the students will identify and extract raw data together with the corresponding calibration frames from the ESO Science Archive that are relevant to the astrophysical science question being studied and reduce these using a relevant pipeline provided by ESO. Writing of successful observing proposals will also be discussed as a part of the course.
ESO telescopes at Paranal:


Astroparticle physics

Course description:

Astroparticle physics is relatively young research field that combines astrophysics with particle physics. This course introduces the three fields of astroparticle physics; cosmic ray physics, neutrino astronomy and Very High Energy gamma-ray astronomy. During the course the students learn the principles of main observational techniques in the field, as well as get familiar with the multi-messenger approach to study astrophysical sources.

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