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jsandse

Is the sky at night out of touch with modern amateur astronomy?

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The more info on this the better, I find it very interesting.

I will start a new one on the photometer and a link to the program that I use ,The program is still live so bear that in mind when useing it.

Sorry for hijacking your post John.

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And which would be the cheapest cooled mono ccd on the market? the qhy6?

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Hmmm don't know.

I use the Atik16icS and the ATik314L+ they seem to work pretty well for me in spectroscopy.....

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Okay, so: What do we have to do? When can we start? :(

But I do feel a tad uncertain re. these "collaborative" projects. Laudable yes, but "employing" the public to do the *drudge* activities of academics and professional scientists? No financial reward or credit? I thought that was previously the domain of "grad students"... :)

I may be quite wrong about Pro-Am Spectroscopy though... :(

Edited by Macavity

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Macavity,

What spectroscopes do you currently have available? What telescope do you use?Which CCD cameras?

If you let me know, I can suggest some suitable ProAm and amateur projects to you.

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The financial reward is doing something you like doing.
Heheh... only teasing, guys. If truth be told, my "hybrid" background in Physics & Chemistry was initially motivated by an interest in "spectroscopy" - Such a long time ago now! In the fullness of time (maybe sooner), I might get back to you Merlin et al. :(

About to try out my "SA100" + Watec VideoCam. A variety of scopes? A 6" MAK, an 8"/F4 Newt? Combining spectroscopy with lower light levels? But I shall have to have a go myself first... :(

Edited by Macavity

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Themos,

Don't know who the Professor you talked to was but you don't need to have a big aperture to contribute to proam campaigns. Something like a 8 or nine inch aperture is in most cases more than adequate.

I was sending some spectra directly to a professional in America last year with data from a 10 inch scope and he was very happy to get it.

In short there are plenty of bright stars out there that need to be monitored.

This webpage lists a number of the proam collaborations on the go now:

spectro-aras.com • Index page

And as an example from the above Robin Leadbetter has done some amazing pro-Am collaboration work over the past couple of years with Epsilon Auriga.

I remember going to Astrofest and speaking to some professionals from Lancaster University who said I needed a 5metre scope at minimum to do meaningful work - this put me back a bit - but I have since spent some time studying the theory of Stellar Atmospheres, Radiation Hydrodynamics, Stellar Winds and Asteroseismology - so I have a far better idea of what can and cannot be done by the amateur. And we do have a role to play in finding out how stars are behaving.

As an example no-one understands and can model properly:

- the clumpy nature of stellar winds from variable stars such as deneb and wolf rayet stars

- no-one can model the nature of the disks formed by Be stars - currently they are only using the Navier-Stokes equations to try and model this. The previous models they used all failed. And no-one can explain why Be stars sometimes lose and then gain their disks.

Because the scientists don't understand these things, they need more data to model these stars and us amateurs can provide some of that data.

And to be honest spectroscopy is the best way to understand what stars are all about.

cheers

John

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And Themos, Jack Martin just bought a 314 at Astrofest for the knock-down price of £700 from the supplier direct - so well worth trying that route if you want to buy one

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Macavity,

Pro-am collaborations shouldn't be seen as the poor amateur doing the drudgery.

Doing astronomy and using our equipment is what astronomers do and love. Working on a collaboration gives you the chance to start asking questions like why am I doing this - and if you start to understand why you will start to understand the nature of stars.

Remember to virtually everyone bar spectroscopists - stars are just pinpoints of light and are very boring.

But as soon as you start to find out things about them - measure their temperature, their size the nature of their stellar winds, how fast they are rotating, whether they are moving away or towards us, whether they are part of a binary or not, and the composition of the elelements in the stars the stars start to take on a character of their own and become very interesting. And note amateurs can detect and measure all of the above attributes of stars for bright enough stars (less than mag 8 or 9 say) themselves. If that doesn't blow your mind I don't know what will!!!!!

You have to get over the barrier and see what we can understand about the world to see what an amazing place it is. And thanks to the gift of nature with the information that is encoded in light from the stars that we see we can all learn about our place in the universe through practise.

cheers

John

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And Themos,

I had a QHY6 which I used briefly for spectroscopy - and it worked fine and is good value for money. But if you can afford the 314 or find a cheaper second hand atik16ic-S - they are better.

cheers

John

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John & Ken,

Thank you, I'll take a look at those books. Didn't know you were widely published Ken, we are not worthy :(

It's an area I've always been interested in, maybe my in built "requirement" to know how stuff works rather than just looking at pretty stuff :(

I will look into this further once I have my solar imaging up and running in the next couple of weeks.

Cheers

Ian

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No that was no typo....£700 = £700 = £700

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John I was looking at your microsoft excel ostar list IS this done as a runing program so you can add the data and it will work it all out for you.

I have done one but your one look very good.

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what about an 8 bit, non-cooled mono like the DMK21AU04? Can that be useful?

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Ken used to use one of those for spectroscopy I think. He may be best to answer but I have a DMK yes they are fine for capturing spectra of bright stars but although they are sensitive they are noisy. So not ideal for longer exposures on fainter stars but on brighter stars you should be able to get some excellent results.

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Yes, but.....

The small chip size limits the amount of spectrum you can record....

Torsten Hansen has done some excellent work with a Star Analyser, DMK31 and an 8" Newt.

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I have a DMK41 mono on order for solar work. You mean to say I *won't* necessarily have to buy yet another camera for spectroscopy work? Makes a change :(

So with a DSLR or a DMK41, just need a grating and I'm away. Even more interested now.

Cheers

Ian

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While not ideal Spectroscopy,and Photometry have been done with DSLR, OSC and web cams. I would not stop having a go just becasue you don't have a mono CCD.

What I enjoy about spectroscopy is you can build and play with a few lenes and a grating and then do spectroscopy.

For example take an Star Analyser and try it as intended, then add two camera lenes to make a small slitless spectroscope, then add a slit etc etc.

All in Ken's book or online at Spectroscopy, CCD and Astronomy .

Andrew

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OK if you are still "out of touch" and sceptical about the use of amateur spectroscopy to help professionals. Here is a presentation given by an eminent professional astronomer. Please observe the number of amateur spectroscopists mentioned on the front page of the report (8!!!!!):

http://storage.canalblog.com/91/45/711320/73556487.pdf

And note the comment on the conclusions of the report:

"The 2011 campaign reveal that amateur spectroscopy becomes an important factor in astronomy of emission-line stars"

I rest my case .......

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Themos & Kenmyers , et al . Des Loughney showed what can be done with DSLR photometry with his contributions to the recent Epsilon Auriga campaign . You may find this paper of interest http://www.britastro.org/vss/JBAA%20120-3%20%20Loughney.pdf . Following the Citizen Sky pages here give more info DSLR Photometry Tutorial | Citizen Sky . Des has done nice work on eclipsing binary timing and you could find info on this in the BAA Variable Star Section publications.

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