Here are a couple of links to sources of Variable Star Observing. My hope is to expand this list and would welcome any other related links you would like to have posted.
Thanks to All.
American Association of Variable Star Observers
AAVSO Light Curve Generator
Light Curve Generator
You can now plot your own charts:
AAVSO VSP Chart Plotter
The Astronomical League's Variable Star Club:
Variable Star Club
The Astronomical League's Binocular Variable Star Club:
Here is a list posted by Starmandan of photometry software.
Here's a list we came up with at our club for our research groups:
Below is a list of some ideas for software that can be used to extract science data from CCD images.
This is a partial list. Some of it is free, some is not very expensive, some is rather expensive. Some is old, some is still being updated/developed.
AIP4WIN: http://www.willbell.com/aip/index.htm Not just good science software - a very good textbook covering basics of CCD imaging and science.
MPO Canopus/Photored http://www.minorplan...MPOSoftware.htm Written especially for asteroid photometry...where the moving object forces you to use different comparison stars every night, and perhaps every few hours.
IRAF: http://iraf.noao.edu/ Long learning curve, but very powerful.
MAXIM: http://www.cyanogen.com/maxim_main.php Very powerful
CCDSoft: http://www.bisque.co...oducts/CCDSoft/ OK, we don't need the camera control aspect of it, but it can do photometry and astrometry. (May need to use TheSky for astrometry)
Astrometrica: http://www.astrometrica.at/ want to measure positions of objects? This is a good place to start. Shareware. 25 Euro.
Sextractor (Source Extractor) Want to analyze *every* star in your images? http://sextractor.sourceforge.net/ Useful for searching for new variables.
MuniWin: http://c-munipack.sourceforge.net/ - good for time series, and searching entire image series for new variables
GCX is linux based, has a GUI interface and command line options.
This means you can write scripts to automate tasks.
Starlink, similar to IRAF. It's a GAIA program for data visualisation, photometry and astrometry is widely used. It is described
here: http://www.starlink....n214.html#xref_ GAIA can be used for aperture (classic or optimal) photometry and a command line program autophotom is good for scripting. Of course, Starlink is much more than that but it was GAIA (plus the integrity of the whole package) that convinced me to choose it 10 years ago instead of IRAF. Starlink is distributed under GPL.
http://starlink.jach...ii.edu/starlink STARLINK software for processing images from the UKIRT on Mauna Kea
Mira software: http://www.mirametri...ra_products.htm
Sky Image Processor - a web-based astronomical image reduction and analysis system! (Virginia Tech) http://www.phys.vt.edu/~jhs/SIP/
Astroart: http://www.msb-astroart.com/ - good for snapshot observations, not suited for time-series work.
CADET: http://www.terra.es/...cj/introeng.htm CADET is basically a program for calibration and deconvolution of astronomical images in FITS, BMP and JPEG formats.
LAIA: http://www.astrogea....t/laia/laia.htm - need to know Spanish, and it's not been updated in quite some time. But it's free and can do some image measurement/analysis.
DAOPHOT - Stellar Photometry Package designed to deal with crowded fields. http://www.star.bris...k/~mbt/daophot/ (Linux/Unix)
Audela - http://www.audela.or...lish_audela.php Windows and Linux, in various languages, freeware, and at sourceforge http://sourceforge.net/projects/audela Audela is a free and open source astronomy software intended for digital observations (CCD cameras, Webcams, etc.). Its concept is entirely new, because whilst it features advanced image processing and acquisition functions like existing software, its originality lies in the fact that it is entirely reprogrammable using simple scripts. It has been written for both Windows and Linux platforms and can control many telescope mounts and cameras or DSLRs.
Foto-Dif: http://www.astrosurf...dif/fotodif.htm freeware in Spanish, and includes some practice images in a .zip file.
http://www.eso.org/s...ware/esomidas// Unix/Linux, free.
Another one to add! (Thanks go out to Paul Rybski!)
THELI is a software package for the reduction of astronomical imaging data.
Some of its key features are:
* handling of optical, near-infrared and mid-infrared data
* single- and multichip (mosaic) cameras are handled, including even the largest systems
* automatic astrometric and photometric calibration using scamp or astrometrix
* stand-alone tools in C/C++, no black boxes
* fast (fully parallelised for multi-core and cluster architectures)
* comes with a graphical user interface
* in its current version, THELI supports more than 35 professional cameras, and the user can add more
* runs under UNIX, Linux and MacOS
* also suitable for amateur astronomers who want to use the tools from the pros
Anyway, this is a start. Some folks may like the free stuff. Others may like the way-powerful stuff that takes lots of time to master. There are many ways to skin the science cat.
This list is not meant to scare folks off. Find one or two software tools that work for you and start doing science.
(Maybe we'll write this list up properly into a document/cheat sheet for future reference.)
Cloudcroft, New Mexico. 9440FT