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fguenther's picture
fguenther
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Joined: 2013-04-23

Hello all,

I am a new member that is interested in ultimately trying to see if I can see exoplanet transits.  I know this is a very tall order, but the journey is always the most fun.  I will most definitely start small and start evaluating the equipment I have access to for noise, and how well I can follow known variables.  Then go on to looking at fainter variables to see were my limits are.  I was just wondering if there were others in the community interested in, or already looking at exoplanets.

A note:  Since I live in Maryland next to large cities, it is doubtful that I can put up a telescope in my backyard to look for these with all the light pollution and weather problems.  I already have an 8 inch cassegrain, obviously not helpful in my ultimate persuit.  Thus I am hooked into the iTelescope network and plan to use the New Mexico site to start my journey. Eventually going to the Australia site for some southern hemisphere action. Any helpful tips are welcome.


Thanks

Frank Guenther

exoplanets
HQA's picture
HQA
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Joined: 2010-05-10

Hi Frank,

Observing exoplanet transits is indeed an ambitious undertaking!  The iTelescopes are a good resource; as a new AAVSO member, you should also look at AAVSOnet.  An exoplanet transit typically takes about 5 hours of telescope time to follow, counting the transit and some baseline before and after; this can get expensive if you are purchasing telescope time.  I'd highly recommend getting Bruce Gary's book (Exoplanet Observing for Amateurs), and perhaps subscribing to the Exoplanet_Astronomers Yahoogroup.

You CAN observe transits from your backyard, and with an 8-inch aperture.  However, it is far easier if you have reliably clear skies, which is what you get with remote access.  I'd start with some of the largest amplitude systems, and those that transit high in the sky, before moving into some of the newer candiates.

Good luck!  I'm sure others who have measured a transit will speak up and give you some guidance.

Arne

Hi Arne, Thank you for the
fguenther's picture
fguenther
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Joined: 2013-04-23

Hi Arne,

Thank you for the information and encouragement.  I got the "Exoplanet Observing for Amateurs", can't go wrong for $2 off of Amazon.  I will study that and also start looking at some variables.


Frank

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