The Radio Sky I: Science and Observations

(This MOOC was developed jointly by RATT, SARAO and EPFL, and is hosted by EPFL on the edX platform.)

The serendipitous and unexpected discovery of radio emission from celestial objects opened up the possibility of studying a new and exciting view of the universe beyond the visible spectrum. Astronomers have been studying the cosmos in visible light since ancient Greece, but it is only in comparatively modern times that the universe beyond the visible spectrum has become accessible to us.

In this course you will learn about the most important objects that emit in the radio regime, both within and beyond our own galaxy. Covering topics from the birth and death of stars to the detection of Gravitational waves you will learn how radio observations contribute to a richer understanding of the universe we inhabit. This course also introduces the basics of radio detectors and the technologies we use to observe at radio wavelengths.

The video lectures from this MOOC are also available standalone on EPFL’s switch.ch channel.

The Radio Sky II: Observational Radio Astronomy

(This MOOC was developed jointly by RATT, SARAO and EPFL, and is hosted by EPFL on the edX platform.)

This course covers the principles and practices of radio astronomical observations, in particular with modern interferometers. Topics range from radio telescope technology to the measurement equation to radio interferometric calibration and imaging.

The video lectures from this MOOC are also available standalone on EPFL’s switch.ch channel, or via RATT’s YouTube channel

NRAO “Essential Radio Astronomy” Notes

Essential Radio Astronomy (ERA) grew from lecture notes for the one-semester radio astronomy course taken by all astronomy graduate students at the University of Virginia. To attract advanced undergraduates with backgrounds in astronomy, physics, engineering, or astrochemistry to radio astronomy, the course prerequisites are limited to basic physics courses covering classical mechanics, macroscopic thermodynamics, electromagnetism, and elementary quantum mechanics. Nearly everything in ERA has been derived from first principles in order to fill the gaps in students’ backgrounds and make ERA a useful reference for practicing radio astronomers.

RATT “Fundamentals of Interferometry” notebooks

A Jupyter Notebook-based book on the Fundamentals of Radio Interferometry. This is a community effort started by RATT and SARAO with the aim of constantly improving and adding to the content, so as to make interferometry as accessible as possible. This book is currently being used to teach the NASSP "Fundamentals of Radio Interferometry" MSc course.

SARAO E-Learning Portal

The SARAO E-Learning platform offers online teaching and training material to universities in South Africa and across the continent, allowing for more academic institutions to participate in radio astronomy research. Pre-recorded lectures and presentation slides, hands-on tutorials on a range of topics that includes using MeerKAT public data, as well as problem sets and solutions are available.

The materials and courses are generated and presented by SARAO and collaborating scientists and engineers, aiming to complement university training courses in order to garner interest among students and young professionals to pursue degrees in radio astronomy.


These lectures consist of both video and slide materials that cover most of the fundamentals of interferometry. They are based on the lectures from the 16th Synthesis Imaging Workshop that was held in 2018 in Socorro, NM.


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