I’ll start the first observing technique topic on this forum- “American” v “European” method of visually estimating red variables. I am not setup for photometry so I am currently doing purelyvisual.
The “American Method” involves taking quick glimpses of the stars- which is the natural technique for most people in the states.
Te “European Method” involves defocusing the images to eliminate the color contrast.
For most of my estimates I use the “American” method- especially when observing fainter stars (my faintest observation being a 14.8 mag comparison star for R CrB on chart 1157gxy).
But with an intensely red star such as R Leo I find my eye doing exactly what I don’t want to do-being drawn to the star by the intense hue and staying there. The amount of scatter in my estimates go up -especially near max.
Consequently I use the European method on these stars. I find that I have less scatter using this technique when there is a strong color contrast.
My questionwould be:
What techniques do others use?