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Just joined AAVSO - asked for a CCD Mentor

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#1 sink45ny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 12:07 PM

Generally are they responsive?

 

I have almost read (almost) all the CCDPhotometryGuide.PDF and know how to take pretty pictures.

I have a Lum B & V in my filter wheel.

 

Next step will be to image a variable star (in the big dipper)?

 

I have a 140mm APO refractor on an EQ mount with ZWO 1600mm camera and Lum, B & V in the filter wheel.

 

Any assistance or suggestions how to proceed are appreciated.

 

thanks!!

 

p.s.

I use TSX pro and SGP with PHD2. Post process with pixInsight.


Edited by sink45ny, 08 July 2019 - 09:04 AM.

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#2 Gipht

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 02:42 PM

Sorry I can't help with your question.  Last night, I was imaging the Crescent Nebula, and in the very corner  of the picture was the eruptive variable star with the intriguing name,  Revenant of the Swan.  This could easily have been edge of field effects, but residue around the star seemed very interesting.

 

Just trying to suggest a target.  Like I said, this could be just poor correction on my image.

Attached Thumbnails

  • revenant of the swan.JPG

Edited by Gipht, 07 July 2019 - 02:57 PM.


#3 S.Boerner

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 04:27 PM

The Target Tool at https://filtergraph....on&settype=true  is a good place to pick some targets.  Trying to pick targets using the VSX can be really intimidating.

 

A very important question to ask is what software will you be using to do calibration, stacking and photometry?  Since you are an AAVSO member you have access to VPhot.  I use MaximDL for the first two and VPhot. 

 

If you haven't done so yet, get an observers code and register for the site https://www.aavso.org/apps/register/

 

You might be interested in a CHOICE courses coming up:

September 9 - October 11 (note that this course is 5-weeks long)        Photometry Using VPhot  Instructor: Ken Menzies  $30 for members

 

One big change you'll notice from doing DSOs is that the exposure times are really going to be short to keep saturation down!


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#4 sink45ny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 05:20 PM

Thank you very much!!

#5 Jamey L Jenkins

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 07:58 PM

Hi,

 

Oldie to observing, but newbie to photometry, that's me. Could be it's just the long holiday weekend that is holding up a reply from the AAVSO.

 

What I did when I knew I wanted to explore variable star photometry was watch this forum and follow the posts for a number of months. I found out who was in the know about the subject then made a point to contact that individual myself asking for "mentor" help. It worked out and by chance my helper has taught AAVSO classes and is a contributor to the AAVSO CCD Handbook. This has been just since Spring and I've received a ton-o-advice.

 

The first thing I did was perform a linearity test on my camera (Atik 314L+) and determine the ADU count where the CCD saturates. This is a must have bit of information. If you haven't found that out yet start there. Next, and which is where I am in the learning curve, is through testing on standard star fields find the optimum exposure time for your system (telescope-filter-camera) on various magnitudes at differing elevations (different air masses) so you can achieve best signal to noise ratio without saturating your target and comparison stars. Lot of prep work before actually beginning photometry I've discovered.

 

I'm using AstroImageJ software to calibrate and inspect my science images. For photometry I intend to use AAVSO's Vphot online software. For that purpose I too have just joined the AAVSO this last week.

 

Good luck, hope to hear more from you on your experience!!


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#6 sink45ny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:09 PM

Thank you too Jamey!!


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#7 S.Boerner

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:24 PM

One of the really nice things about VPhot is that after a plate solve it knows your field.  That means it knows/shows you the location of the various variables and comp stars in the field with needed data.  With my old version of MaximDL I had to manually find them all and enter the AUIDs and magnitudes.

 

I remember that AstroImageJ seemed easier that MaximDL AND the last half of the Exoplanet Observing Guide is devoted to it (https://www.aavso.or...serving-manuals)

 

There's also a VPhot Forum that's available to AAVSO members.  You'll find lots of help and answers to questions there.

 

Once you are a member and your login info go to https://www.aavso.org/vphot  and enter it to get into VPhot.  Once in over in the top right corner you'll see "Support"  If you click there you can download a manual and also watch eight videos that show you how to get started using it.  You'll learn much more in the class (I took it) but there's enough to get started under "Support".


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#8 Jamey L Jenkins

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 08:37 PM

I remember that AstroImageJ seemed easier that MaximDL AND the last half of the Exoplanet Observing Guide is devoted to it (https://www.aavso.or...serving-manuals)

 

Yes, the AIJ software besides being FREE has been a breeze for calibrating and finding FWHM, but was developed with exoplanet work in mind. It seems that some BAA observers use it for variable star photometry, but there is a compatibility issue with the AAVSO reporting. Nearly all tutorial material I've found for AIJ focus on exoplanets. So, I use it for prep work and intend to upload my calibrated science images to Vphot for photometry.


Edited by Jamey L Jenkins, 07 July 2019 - 08:38 PM.

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#9 Ed Wiley

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 10:26 PM

I am a mentor and would be happy to help. I also teach CHOICE CCD1 when asked. I am mentoring one person now. Send me a message.

Ed Wiley

AAVSO: WEY

 

Note: So far as I know, PixInsight does not produce fits files, which the authors say are depreciated (no doubt a surprise to professional photometrists). I don't know if you can convert their format to the fits format. But there are free programs to post-process for photometry.

 

Note: I use a CCD camera, not a CMOS camera and am interested in how CMOS cameras perform, I assume yours is a mono.


Edited by Ed Wiley, 07 July 2019 - 10:34 PM.

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#10 sink45ny

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Posted 07 July 2019 - 11:08 PM

Thanks Ed I will message you tomorrow, thank you very much. Yes my CMOS is mono.

 

I have several ZWO 174mm-cool, ZWO 1600mm-cool and ZWO 178mm.

 

Obscode-HSTG

 

Thanks!!

steve



#11 aitke12

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Posted 25 September 2019 - 08:36 PM

Can you PM me, interested in your AAVSO observations. thanks 

 

 

Thanks Ed I will message you tomorrow, thank you very much. Yes my CMOS is mono.

 

I have several ZWO 174mm-cool, ZWO 1600mm-cool and ZWO 178mm.

 

Obscode-HSTG

 

Thanks!!

steve



#12 DEnc

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Posted 28 September 2019 - 06:52 PM

...I don't know if you can convert their format to the fits format.

PixInsight does offer that option, with Script/BatchProcessing/BatchFormatConversion.

 

Have you looked at the GCVS catalog of variable stars?  I downloaded it to Excel and it's been handy for identifying targets that work with my rig.  You can filter targets on viewability, magnitude, period, etc.  From the raw table of 40982 stars, there's always something interesting to focus on!

 

Happy hunting!

 

David



#13 Ed Wiley

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Posted 02 October 2019 - 09:32 AM

To clarify:I have been asked to direct mentor requests directly to the AAVSO Mentor Program. That way AAVSO can keep up with those who wish a mentor and assign mentors who are in tune with the needs of the mentee. One can certainly ask for me to be assigned, but others may be more appropriate. ( mentor@aavso.org )

 

Thanks to all who have expressed interest, AAVSO needs you.

 

Ed

 

ps: If using pixinsight, the safe bet is to output FITS files. I would be very interested to learn if the new pixinsight file format works with various photometry programs.


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