New PDF release: A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis

By Brian Warner

Tools for newbie astronomers who desire to transcend CCD imaging and step into ‘serious’ technology. The textual content deals recommendations for accumulating, examining, and publishing information, and describes joint tasks within which amateurs and scholars can participate. Readers discover ways to realize and keep away from universal error in accumulating photometry info, with special examples for research. contains experiences of accessible software program, with monitor photographs and necessary tips.

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Additional resources for A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis (Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series)

Example text

Thermal noise”. Cooling the chip reduces thermal noise by making the atoms move slower and so fewer collisions result in free electrons. Dark frames are usually taken at the same temperature and duration as the target image. For example, if you take a 1-minute image at –30°, then you would use a dark frame that was also 1-minute long at –30°. e. both images must have the same binning. To create a master dark frame, take several raw dark frames of the appropriate duration and temperature. Then either average or median combine them into a single image.

This is one time where bias frames and scaled darks might be effective. However, I’ve been able to avoid using them by working quickly and efficiently during twilight and – most important – having a pre-built library of short exposure darks taken at the temperature that I usually use. ” However, the problem of clean filters extends beyond simply keeping dust off the filters. Fellow photometrist John Menke wrote about his troubles getting good flats. It turns out that his filters had developed a thin layer of “snowlike stuff”.

This may seem very small, but with careful work, these transits can be easily observed. Most stellar candidates for monitoring are bright and require short exposures, sometimes requiring a filter to prevent saturating the CCD chip and avoid scintillation noise (see “Seeing and Scintillation” on page 35). Fig. 6 shows data of an extra-solar transit collected by California amateur Robert Stephens, whose observatory is deep within the light pollution of the Los Angeles area. This points to one of the great advantages of CCDs, namely, the ability to get useful data even under less than perfect conditions such as heavy light pollution.

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