Jump to content


Photometry software options

Recommended Posts

Hi all:

I've been messing around with doing DSLR (and some Johnson V) photometry of variable stars (using AstroArt) and the thing that I'm finding awkward is the interactive nature of the software. That is, I need to manually select the stars in each image and assign them as variable, calibration or check stars and enter their magnitudes (AA should handle the latter but the magnitude estimates in the built in star map differ a bit from the AAVSO ones). Easty enough with one image but a pain with five and if I did a load of them it would be very time consuming. Thinking about an idealised workflow, I'm imagining something that uses scripts and works something like this:

  • Take the DSLR images and extract the green channel, convert to a FITS file, do data reduction etc (using filenames to ID the images).
  • Carry out astrometry to get a WCS.
  • Take a scripted list of stars with appropriate magnitudes, calibration status etc. and use RA and DEC along with the WCS and image metadata to work out the image coordinates of the stars
  • Assess the FWHM of the target and calibration stars and set an approporiate annulus based on this
  • Conduct the photometry and spit the numbers into a text file.
  • Ideally, do some diagnostics at various steps along the way and alert me if there is anything suspicious.

Is anyone aware of a platform that would allow me to go about conducting photometry using a workflow that would be similar to this?

Any suggestions gratefully received.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the suggestion Stu - a bit pricey but it looks good so will investigate further (seems to be quite a bit on You Tube). Other options that I'd be intersted in hearing opinions of would be:

VPHOT - I have a really slow internet connection and get the impression that involved uploading FITS files, so might not work for me.

IRAF / PYRAF - look insanely flexible if clunky and a bit scary. Is it worth the learning curve, and are there any intermediate options I might be missing?


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Muniwin is a relatively straightforward and quick tool to undertake aperture photometry (free)


It can undertake photometry on all the stars at once.

Alternatively AstroImageJ is freely available which is a bit more powerful and more targeted at professional astronomers, so you have to pick and choose the stars you want.


Prismv10 works fine as well but as noted has a cost (but then it does a lot more than just photometry - for example it can search for asteroids etc)

I wouldn't recommend IRAF/PyRAF unless you have the IT support behind you!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I’m just starting along this road also. Did my first manual measurements using IRIS, but once I’ve got the hang of it looking to write a script. Might still need a bit of user interaction, so may not get you unite where you want to be


Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.