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Any active SSP-4 Observers out there

JimK's picture
JimK
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Joined: 2013-02-19

Earlier this year I purchased an SSP-4 photometer from Optec.  I have not noticed a lot of observations in the IR bands Is anyone out there doing single channel J and H band photometry?  It would be nice to observe the same stars to allow a denser data set.  Also I could use some contacts for general help in issues specific to these bands.  

SSP-4 community is small
Matthew Templeton's picture
Matthew Templeton
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Joined: 2010-03-12

Hi Jim,

There have only been two SSP-4 observers submitting data in 2013 so far.  The user community has always been pretty small.  We'd like to see more data coming in.  If Arne, Jim Fox, or I can help get you started with it, please send a private message.

Currently we have one northern and one southern hemisphere observer; the northern observer has been concentrating on epsilon Aurigae and Betelgeuse, while the southern observer has been observing a number of bright semiregulars and Miras in conjunction with his BVRI CCD program.

As a side note, we do a quarterly summary of the PEP program in each Newsletter, so you can find out who was observing in the previous quarter there. 

SSP-4 Observers
rth's picture
rth
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Joined: 2010-07-24

Jim:

I guess that I am the northern hemisphere observer that Matthew is referring to in his reply.  :-)

I spent the entire epsilon Aurigae eclipse working on it (mostly), but I've since gotten involved with another astronomy project right now (nothing to do with variable stars-- it involves AGN) and haven't done any IR observations since the spring (I haven't logged on here in a while either)-- I do plan on returning, though, now that the nights are getting longer. 

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions-- I may or may not not know the answers, but I'd love to discuss them with you.  There aren't many of us, for sure, so its good to have you interested.

Tom (RTH) 

SSP-4 - yet to use...
Carl Knight's picture
Carl Knight
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Joined: 2010-08-27

Hi Tom/Jim/Matthew,

I have an AAVSO loan J&H band SSP-4... I am a complete noob to using the device. I am at 40°08'S 175°22'E in the North Island of New Zealand.

This spring has been appalling. I have a list of targets Matthew has sent me but the weather has only been clear when the Moon is very bright, otherwise I've been doing visual estimates through holes in clouds.

Seeing has been equally bad with the Australian bush fires some 2000+km to my W.

When conditions finally allow I'm interested in joining forces with anyone doing targets high enough up in both parties skies.

Cheers.

- Carl.

SSP-4 Projects
HPO's picture
HPO
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Joined: 2010-07-23

 

I have my own SSP-4 and plan to use it along with some spectroscopic equipment for a new project. I have been talking to Matt about this as well as John Martin. The project is the Betelgeuse Project. This should be good for both hemispheres. The star is bright enough to produce good SNR data. BV band data is also requested as well as spectroscopic data. The Project is still getting underway, but anyone interested can see the preliminary web site at http://www.hposoft.com/Betelgeuse/Betelgeuse.html

Any comments, suggestions or questions are welcomed.

Jeff
Hopkins Phoenix Observatory

Betelgeuse...
Carl Knight's picture
Carl Knight
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Joined: 2010-08-27

Hi Jeff,

Orion is particularly well placed from my location (albeit before Rooster crow at the moment). Spectroscopy is something I intend to add in the near future. I'm looking at a 100 line/mm grating like http://www.rspec-astro.com/star-analyser/. Imaging wise I'm using a DSLR at prime focus on my 12" SCT.

Any additional advise about the suitability of the proposed grating for the project would be welcome.

Using a DSLR I'm limited to transformed V magnitudes presently, but at some point after the grating I'll be saving my pennies for something like an Atik 314L+ and BVR filters.

Cheers.

- Carl.

Betelgeuse/Orion Project
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HPO
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Joined: 2010-07-23

Hi Carl,

I'm glad you are interested. I am working with Dr. John Martin on getting the Project orginized. So far it turns out there is professional interest. In fact Rigel is also of interest as well as delta Orionis. These stars are ideal for the SSP PIN diode photmeters as well as spectroscopy. Because of the added stars of interest I am changing the name to the Orion Project. In addition to the JH bands I thnk BV would be most of interest. Low-resolution spectrosocpy with a Star Analyser would be an excellent introduction to spectroscopy. I plan to mentor anyone interested in either the photometery or spectroscopy.

As the Project solidifies I will be making some further announcements. Orion will be rising to a good place for observations at reasonable hours shortly.

If you or anyone else has questions, comments or suggestions, please emall me. phxjeff@hposoft.com

Jeff
Hopkins Phoenix Observatory
187283

Betelgeuse/Orion Project
Ken Sikes's picture
Ken Sikes
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Joined: 2013-01-27

Jeff, I would like to join in on this project. I am just about done with calibration of my SSP3a and would like to contribute.

Ken Sikes

Orion Project
HPO's picture
HPO
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Joined: 2010-07-23

 

Hi Ken,

I'm happy to see you are making progress. I will keep you posted.

Jeff
Hopkins Phoenix Observatory
187283

new and improved SSP-4
gpersha's picture
gpersha
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Joined: 2013-05-05

I have just done an improved redesign of the SSP-4 to make it a SSP-4a, that is with a automatic filter slider like the SSP-3a and 5a. The prototype board is done and waiting for the detector to be delivered from Hamamatsu. The original detector isn't available from Hamamatsu anymore which is a shame but they have a G8605-21 which is close except that the long wave cutoff is at 1.65 microns which means you have half a H filter - that's the bad new. The good news is that the shunt resistance is about 10 time greater and because of the long wave cutoff it should be a lot more stable and with better SN according to theory. This should more than make up for the 1/2 loss of H. It should still transform OK in my opinion. When I get it all working I'll let you know how it performs.

In addition, I have completed the rewrite of SSP4Dataq2 which not only will control the SSP-4a but also do complete data reduction like the SSPDataq3 and generate AAVSO extended format files for uploading. It won't be fully tested until I get the SSP-4a working but should have results in a month or two.

Jeff: I'll be ready for the Orion project soon as the SSP-4a is fully operational.

Orion Project
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HPO
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Joined: 2010-07-23

 

Hi Jerry,

The project has expanded to now include Betelgeuse, Rigel, Mintaka and Alnilam. So the Project name has changed to the Orion Project. I am hard at work on a new web site. Dr. John Martin has agreed to help. We plan both spectroscopy and photometry of the stars.There has also been some interest from Dr. Konstanze Zwintz of the BRITE-Constellation Project. See: http://www.brite-constellation.at/

The Orion Project will be a long term/continuous project and a great way for people to get started in both spectroscopy and photometry. Indeed, some of the stars are very bright in the JH bands so this ideal for the SSP-4. I hope to coordinate the data archiving with Matt Thempleton and figure out a good way to handle spectroscopy data. I will make an announcement when the Orion Project web site is up. I think this will provide an exciting and rewarding Project.

Jeff (187283)
Hopkins Phoenix Observatory

ssp4 and orion project
JimK's picture
JimK
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Joined: 2013-02-19

Posted my first IR observation of Betelgeuse.  (Also Rho Cas)  I got good extinction and zero point parameters but lots of scatter on transformation coefficients between J and H.  Setting them to zero gave about 0.03 magnitude agreement with the standard stars I measured.   Can anyone out there share the value of their SSP4 transformation coefficients?  I want to make sure i maximize the accuracy of my measurements.  Ready for the Orion project.  I also have a J and H band measurement of Rigel which I upload.  Anyway, glad to see some momentum for the IR bands.

JIm

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484