Astronomical Image Analysis Laboratory

Astronomy faculty and students use the Astronomical Image Analysis Laboratory (AIAL) to work on images obtained at Baker Observatory and other national and international observatories, e.g. Kitt Peak National Observatory and MDM Observatory in Arizona.

CCD Images

Charged-Coupled Device detectors (CCDs) are used by most observatories to record images of astronomical objects and spectra of these objects. These detectors are similar to the ones found in modern digital cameras and video cameras, except that astronomical CCDs are manufactured under stringent procedures to produce scientific-grade detectors.

  • Image Reduction (Calibration)
    • Bias or zero-duration exposure subtraction.
    • Dark (thermionic emission) subtraction.
    • Flat field correction
  • Image Analysis
    • Measurement of star brightness
    • Measurement of spectral line shapes

The way in which the brightness and spectral lines of a star change with time can be used to determine important physical properties.