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DSI Photometry Certification and Mentor Project

Last post 08-11-2007, 5:09 AM by phxjeff. 0 replies.
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  •  08-11-2007, 5:09 AM

    DSI Photometry Certification and Mentor Project

    DSI Photometry Certification and Mentor Project

    There will be four levels of certification.

    1. Beginner (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    2. Advanced (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    3. Expert (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    4. Master (Monochrome DSI)

    To qualify for one or more of these certifications you must do photometry at the appropriate level. You must also use a Meade DSI, DSI Pro or II series camera. The cameras can be stock or modified. Any software can be used for the imaging, image processing, data reduction and analysis (light curve generation, frequency domain analysis). Each level will be judged by the project mentor and when deemed the person has met the goal, certification will be issued.

    For each certification the observer must research and pick a variable star to observe. The same star can be used by other observers and for other certification levels.

    Before starting observations, send a completed application to the project mentor for approval. The object should be well placed (high in the night sky), known to be variable (a short period variable is suggested), within the magnitude limits of the site and equipment and characteristics of the star system well known.

    For monochrome DSI cameras it is highly recommended you replace the nose piece face plate with a low profile one and add a shutter/dark slide (~$75). You can screw a filter into the nose piece (e.g., am IR blocking filer or V photometric filter). For multiple filters a filter wheel is strongly suggested. ATIK is a reasonably priced ($199) manual filter wheel that is well made and works well. These items can be purchased from ScopeStuff at http://www.scopestuff.com/ Some of the items are temporally out of stock, but keep checking as more should be arriving shortly. For photometric filters AstroDon has a reasonably price set of good filters (1,25" BVRI set $300).
    See http://www.astrodon.com/products/product.cfm?CatID=4

    For imaging and image processing software it is suggested that the AutoStar Suite software be used. This will require no additional investment and the software is very good. For those who wish to invest a bit more ($99.95) AIP4WIN is recommended. It is only an image processing program, but comes with a very nice large manual. See http://www.willbell.com/

    Data reduction software for the Master level certification will be available on-line for downloading. Contact the project mentor for additional information.

    If you have questions or need help at any stage, please feel free to contact the project mentor.

    Beginner Photometry Certification (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    Summary:
    Research star system
    Find and image star system
    Differential instrumental magnitudes determined

    A single image must be taken (filtered or unfiltered). This image can be the result of combined stacked images. Dark frames must be subtracted.

    The observer must find the star system and then experiment to determine an optimum exposure time for the program and comparison stars near maximum linear counts and must take at least one image of the star system with comparison stars.

    Image processing must then determine the uncalibrated magnitude difference between a comparison star and program star. Dark frames should be taken and subtracted. Flat frames are not needed at this level.

    The processed data along with the image must be submitted for approval.

    Advanced Photometry Certification (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    Summary:
    Research star system
    Three star system images taken
    Flat field images taken
    Dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided
    Determine optimum image processing settings
    Calculate uncalibrated magnitudes with estimated zero points
    Differential instrumental magnitudes determined
    Standard deviations calculated
    Julian Date and magnitudes listed
    Report submitted

    At least three images must be taken (filtered or unfiltered). These images can each be the combined stacked images. The reason for the three images is to determine the data spread (standard deviation). In a perfect world all three resulting magnitudes should be the same,
    but they are most likely to vary.

    All images must have dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided. Analysis of star's FWHM made and determination of optimum aperture and annulus settings determined for the image processing.

    Using image processing the observer must determine the net raw counts for the program and comparisons stars. Zero points must be estimated based on the comparison star data. Instrumental magnitudes must then be calculated. The estimated zero point must then be figured in to determine the program and comparison star magnitudes. The differential magnitudes will then be calculated and normalized to the standard magnitude of the comparison star. Three magnitudes will be produced and a standard deviation and average calculated. The Julian date of the median observation to six places must also be determined.

    A report summarizing the data must be written and submitted along with the light curve and one image.

    Expert Photometry Certification (Color or Monochrome DSI)
    Summary:
    Research star system
    Three star system images taken for each data point
    Time-Series observations
    Flat field images taken
    Dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided
    Determine optimum image processing settings
    Calculate uncalibrated magnitudes with estimated zero points
    Differential instrumental magnitudes determined
    Normalized program star magnitudes calculated
    Standard deviations calculated
    Julian Date and magnitudes listed
    Light curve plotted and analyzed
    Report submitted

    A time-series set of images with at least three images must be taken (filtered or unfiltered) for each data point. The images can be combined stacked images. The time-series requires multiple sets of observations. For a short period variable this could mean several nights of several hours of observations each night. The more data points the better the analysis will be.

    All images must have dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided. Analysis of star's FWHM made and determination of optimum aperture and annulus settings determined for the image processing.

    Using image processing the observer must determine the net raw counts for the program and comparisons stars. Zero points must be estimated based on the comparison star data. Instrumental magnitudes must then be calculated. The estimated zero point must then be figured in to determine the program and comparison star magnitudes. The differential magnitudes will then be calculated and normalized to the standard magnitude of the comparison star. Three magnitudes will be produced and a standard deviation and average calculated for each data point. The Julian date of the median observation to six places must also be determined.

    The data points must then be plotted with magnitude on the Y-axis (vertical axis) and Julian Date on the X-Axis (horizontal axis). From the plot the four contact points must be determined, ingress and egress times determined, eclipse duration and mid-point determined.

    A report summarizing the data must be written and submitted along with the light curve and one image.

    Master Photometry Certification (Monochrome DSI)
    Summary:
    Research star system
    Three star system images taken for each data point in each filter
    Time-Series observations
    Flat field images taken
    Dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided
    Determine optimum image processing settings
    Calibrate system using standard stars
    Calculate standard magnitudes
    Differential instrumental magnitudes determined
    Normalized program star magnitudes calculated
    Standard deviations calculated
    Heliocentric Julian Date and magnitudes listed
    Light curve plotted and analyzed
    Frequency domain determined for precise period determination
    Report submitted

    This certification will be for filtered photometry using a monochrome CCD camera. At least two filters are needed, BV, VR or VI. Observations of standard stars must be made and the systems transformation coefficients and zero points determined.

    A time series set of images with at least three images must be taken with each filter for each data point. If BVRI filters are used that would be a minimum of 12 images for a data point in each filter. The images can be combined stacked images.

    All images must have dark frames subtracted and flat fields divided. Analysis of star's FWHM made and determination of optimum aperture and annulus settings determined for the image processing.

    Using image processing the observer must determine the net raw counts for the program and comparisons stars. Instrumental magnitudes must then be calculated. The data must then be reduced using the transformation coefficients to determine the program and comparison star standard magnitudes in each filter. The differential magnitudes must then be calculated and normalized to the standard magnitude of the comparison star. Three magnitudes will be produced and a standard deviation and average calculated for each filter data point. The Heliocentric Julian date of the median observation to six places must also be determined.

    The data points must then be plotted with magnitude on the Y-axis (vertical axis) and Heliocentric Julian Date on the X-Axis (horizontal axis). From the plot the four contact points must be determined, ingress and egress times determined, eclipse duration and mid-point determined.

    Several eclipses must be observed and light curves produced. A frequency distribution program must be used to create a frequency domain plot and an analysis done to determine the period.

    A report summarizing the data must be written and submitted along with the total light curve, frequency domain plot and one image.

    **********************************
    DSI Photometry Certification Request

    Date:

    Level of Certification Request: __ Beginner, __ Advanced, __ Expert, __ Master

    Observer Name:
    Address:
    City, State/Province:
    Country, Zip/Postal Code
    E-Mail address:

    Observatory Name:
    Latitude:
    Longitude:
    Elevation:
    __ Permanent Mount, __ Portable Mount

    Observing Equipment
    Telescope Make/Model/Type:
    Mount Polar or Alt/AZ:
    Telescope aperture and focal length:
    Guide Scope (if used):
    CCD Camera Make/Model
    __ Cooled, __ Uncooled:
    __ Color, __ Monochrome:
    Filters: __ Color Camera, __ IR, __B, __ V, __ R, __ I

    Software
    Imaging Software:
    Image Processing Software;
    Data Reduction Software:

    Experience Level
    Beginner (no imaging experience)
    Beginner (imaging experience)
    Beginner (no photometry experience)
    Experienced (photometry experience)

    Star System To Observe

    Program Star Name:
    HR/HD/SAO
    or other designations:
    Type of Star System: __ Eclipsing Binary, __ Other ___________________
    RA/Dec (2000):
    Epoch:
    Period:
    Duration:
    Maximum/Minimum Mv:
    BVRI Magnitudes:

    Comparison star(s) Name:
    HR/HD/SAO or other designations:
    RA/Dec (2000):
    BVRI Magnitudes:

    References:

    --
    Jeff Hopkins
    HPO SOFT
    Counting Photons
    http://www.hposoft.com/Astro/astro.html
    Hopkins Phoenix Observatory
    7812 West Clayton Drive
    Phoenix, Arizona 85033-2439 U.S.A.
    (623)849-5889
    (623) 247-1190 (Fax)
    www.hposoft.com

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