giving magnitude estimates on forums
I have a question. I have noticed a fair amount lately that observers have been giving their magnitude estimates of a variable, like a nova. I was taught for 30 years or so that we should never share our estimate with another observer so it doesn't bias them. In other words, let's use an example: You go out and observe a supernova at 10.9 magnitude. You immediately post it on a forum, and then others very soon after go out to observe that supernova. Let's say they see it at what they think is 11.6, but they know that you observed it in the past few hours at 10.9. Not everyone, but several people are going to think that that observer, who has been doing variable star observing for a long time, must be more accurate than me. So, instead of 11.6, they stare at the variable for a longer time, and second guess their first estimate, and change their observation to 11.1. That's bias coming into play.
I'm just curious to think of what people's thoughts on this. I NEVER look at other very recent observations. I want my own unbiased observation, even though it may not be as accurate. However, there's the chance that mine may be more accurate than the ones a person or 2 or 3 have posted. What's your thoughts on this matter?
PS: I've been going through quite a change in life this past year, so if you haven't heard from me, it's not because I've disappeared. I'm in a place where I cannot even use my telescopes (NOT prison, so don't worry:). I'm hoping to move to a nicer location so I can use my telescopes. Be patient, I'll be back up and running as soon as possible.
Chris Stephan SET