Credits: 5

Schedule: 11.09.2018 - 11.12.2018

Teaching Period (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

I-II 2018 - 2019 (autumn)
I-II 2019 - 2020 (autumn)

Learning Outcomes (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

  • After this course the student knows how radio astronomy can be used to study astronomical objects, how radio astronomy complements the data collected with other instruments, and where radio astronomy is the only/superior method for collecting data.
  • The student understands the basic principles of radio telescopes and receivers, from radiometers to bolometers, as well as the various observing methods.
  • She/he can plan and even conduct an observing session at a radio telescope for a given astronomical problem.
  • The student identifies the challenges that radio astronomy faces with the increasing electromagnetic interference, as well as the efforts to avoid them.
  • She/he is able to describe the current developments and future prospects in radio astronomy.

Content (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

  • Fundamentals of astronomy and radio astronomy. Radio astronomy in Finland.
  • Radio astronomy antennas and receivers.
  • Single-dish radio astronomy and observing methods.
  • Very Long Baseline Interferometry.
  • Radio emission from the Sun, Galactic objects and extragalactic sources.
  • Cosmic Microwave Background.
  • Life in the Universe and search for intelligence.
  • Radio frequency & electromagnetic interference.
  • Future of radio astronomy.

Details on the course content (applies in this implementation): 

The course consists of lectures and five mandatory practice sessions. Four of them will take place at the Metsähovi Radio Observatory in Kirkkonummi, and one of them is an overnight observing shift at the observatory. See the Course Schedule page for details!

There are no traditional exercises (”laskarit”) that you must return for grading. The mandatory practice sessions involve getting acquainted with some material prior to the sessions, and they may involve calculations and tasks that you should do, and you will be asked to show that you are familiar with the material.

Every student will write a study diary to be submitted to MyCourses before the December exam (11.12.) and it will be graded. The study diary must include brief notes about the most important points that you learned during each practice session + report on following up on ”your” quasar that will be assigned for you, to find more information about and to observe during your observing shift.

Assessment Methods and Criteria (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Exercises, learning assignments, observation work, examinations

Elaboration of the evaluation criteria and methods, and acquainting students with the evaluation (applies in this implementation): 

In order to pass the course, the student must:

1. Pass the exam (grade > 0). 50% of the final grade.

2. Attend all the mandatory practice sessions (four in Metsähovi, one in Otaniemi).

3. Submit the study diary by 11.12. and get a passing grade ( > 0). 50% of the final grade.

Bonus points may be assigned for showing high level of activity and understanding during the sessions.

Workload (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

Contact hours 48 h (2 x 2 h per week). Independent work: observation work 10 h, exercises and learning assignments 57 h, examination and preparation 20 h.

Details on the course materials (applies in this implementation): 

The most important material, such as lecture slides and links to useful resources, will be posted in MyCourses.

Other recommended reading:

1. James J. Condon & Scott M. Ransom: "Essential Radio Astronomy". A web version that the book is based on, but not identical with, can be found with a downloadable pdf file at

2. Jonathan M. Marr, Ronald L. Snell & Stanley E. Kurtz: "Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Observational Methods". Available at Amazon, etc. Lecturer's own copy can be borrowed for a very short-term (hours to some days) loan.

3. Karttunen, Kröger, Oja: "Fundamental Astronomy". Available at AdLibris, Ursa, etc. This is a text book of general astronomy intended for first-year students of astronomy. The emphasis is not on radio astronmy, but the book is a very comprehensive general-purpose book on astronomy, and recommended reading to anyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge on the astronomy fundamentals.

Substitutes for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

S-92.3146 Radio astronomy

Course Homepage (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020):

Prerequisites (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

ELEC-E4210 Introduction to space. Basic knowledge of mathematics, physics and radio technology.

Grading Scale (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Registration for Courses (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 


Further Information (valid 01.08.2018-31.07.2020): 

language class 3: English

Details on the schedule (applies in this implementation): 

See the section "Course Schedule" for all the details. Pay attention to the fact that there are 0-2  sessions (lecture or practice session) each week!


Registration and further information