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lect08 - UCF Physics AST 5765/4762(Advanced Astronomical...

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UCF Physics: AST 5765/4762: (Advanced) Astronomical Data Analysis Fall 2009 Lecture Notes: 8. Coding, FITS, Errors 1 Check In: 10:30 — 10:35:, 5 min Questions before we start? 2 Astronomical Data: 10:35 — 10:50, 15 min What is FITS? Reading FITS files Reading header variables Adding/modifying header variables Writing FITS files 3 Illegitimate, Systematic, and Random Errors: 10:50 — 11:00, 10 min A measurement is the best estimate of a quantity in terms of accepted units. Three types of measurement error: illegitimate, systematic, and random Illegitimate error: a fundamental problem in the methods or assumptions (think you’re doing one thing, really doing another) Find and fix! Check yourselves! Most homework errors are in this category. We’re particularly picky in this course to prepare you for doing this in real science. Mars Polar Lander English vs. Metric goof Systematic error: predictable difference between data and measurement Quantify and remove. A non-quantified systematic error can kill a measurement Must always estimate the unquantifiable error conservatively Any experimental plan must show how it will quantify and remove systematic errors well enough to get the accuracy needed.
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