A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis by Brian Warner

By Brian Warner

Tools for newbie astronomers who desire to transcend CCD imaging and step into ‘serious’ technology. The textual content bargains strategies for collecting, interpreting, and publishing facts, and describes joint tasks within which amateurs and scholars can participate. Readers learn how to realize and steer clear of universal mistakes in amassing photometry info, with certain examples for research. contains stories of accessible software program, with monitor photographs and invaluable tips.

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

Example text

When there are large temperature differences between layers of air, the seeing is usually very poor, meaning – in simple terms – that the visible disc of a star is enlarged and so covers a greater number of pixels. This is because the refractive index of each layer is different and so incoming light is distorted from its parallel path before it gets to the observer. In quantitative terms, seeing is often expressed in arcseconds, meaning the size of images at full width at half-maximum (FWHM), which is the width of the star’s profile at a height equal to one-half the maximum value.

Bayer noted it in his catalog as being fifth magnitude in the early seventeenth century, while Fabricius cataloged it as second magnitude in 1596. Holwarda finally confirmed the period of about 330 days in 1638, showing that the star varied from second to tenth magnitude. LPVs do not have rigidly fixed periods, varying by as much as 10%–15% from one cycle to the next. There is also no real consistency to the shape of the curve, even for the same star. Visual observers often follow these types of stars since they change slowly and have amplitudes on the order of several magnitudes.

Once you establish this zero-point, your data can be converted from differential values to absolute values. 2 The First Color-Based Systems If you’ve seen photographs of the same region of the sky taken through different filters, you know that some stars appear brighter in one color than in the others. Some nebulae are brighter in red light, while many galaxies are brighter in bluer light. Astronomers noted a long time ago that many variable stars didn’t change brightness the same amount when using one filter versus another.

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