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Photometry course

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HBB
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With the photometry course 8 weeks away, I was wondering if someone from HQ could post an outline of the course so that I could do some pre-reading.   I am eager to get started and would love to try to prepare as much as possible before the course so thar I can get the most out of the course.

 

Barbara

CCD School
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HBB wrote:

With the photometry course 8 weeks away, I was wondering if someone from HQ could post an outline of the course so that I could do some pre-reading.   I am eager to get started and would love to try to prepare as much as possible before the course so thar I can get the most out of the course.

Barbara

 

Hi Barbara,

We have a preliminary agenda for the meeting that will be emailed to all attendees shortly.  We're waiting for one additional person before doing it, so that we only have to send the email once.  Basically, there will be 20 lectures, each 90 minutes long, plus the usual coffee breaks and lunch time.   We're going to be using VPHOT for most of the exercises, though I'll probably use iraf in front of the class as well.  There will be sets of images available for each student; you can pick and choose which set that you want to work with.  Approximately 25 people have signed up for the course.  I'll start posting some reading material towards the end of June, after I return from the AAS meeting.

I'm expecting to eat all meals with the attendees, and will be around in the early evening for additional questions.  I was hoping to offer camera calibrations in our lab, but since the lectures are going to be given at Tufts, this doesn't make sense logistically.  I might be able to do so the weekend before or after, however, if someone is really interested.

Arne

Photometry course
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Thanks Arne.   Since I have very little experience with Vphot and no experience with IRAF, I will start at familiarizing myself with these two programs.

 

Barbara

Photometry and IRAF
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Hi Barbara,

I share your interest in getting to know IRAF. Perhaps we can share notes. I will start with my attempts to install the software. It is my understanding that IRAF was written for a Linux OS. With that in mind I installed Ubuntu on my iMac ( I use VMWare Fusuion under OS X to run Windows 7, so I created an other virtual and installed Ubuntu) My Linux experience is VERY limited and I haven't dealt with it in years. I found a cookbook approach for installing IRAF on Ubuntu (see link below) , but I believe it is out of date at least as far as Ubuntu 11.10 is concerned. I was able to fumble my way thru some of it - correcting commands that were generating errors, but finally came to a point where I was too far over my head. 

Looking at documentation it seems IRAF has a huge learning curve

 http://geco.phys.columbia.edu/~rubab/iraf/iraf_step_by_step_installation 

all the best,

 

..george

 

IRAF on Ubuntu
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Hi There,

I already installed IRAF on Ubuntu a couple of times. The first times I used the link posted by George, but as he said, it's outdated.
A much easier way is to install with the ISO-image. In the following link is a step by step manual and the download-link:
http://iraf.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=89724

Greetings
Katy

IRAF
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Thanks George and Katy.  George, like you I have very little Linux exp.  I did  install Ubuntua few years ago on my laptop so now I will work on getting IRAF installed. 

iraf
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IRAF is going to be used in front of the class for demonstrations; I really don't expect anyone to need it themselves.  That said, you will probably see enough of IRAF at the class that you will understand how to use it.

IRAF is the defacto standard for professional astronomers.  It isn't that hard to learn, but it is a command-line interface rather than a GUI (though there is a PyRAF version).  Its main advantage is its wealth and breadth of available processing options and excellent spectroscopic support.  Since I've used it for 30 years and VPHOT for about 3 equivalent months, I tend to pull out IRAF for any demonstration.  It is the heart of the AAVSOnet and APASS processing pipelines.

Dirk suggested that we might be able to create a Virtual Machine app that would include a preloaded IRAF; we'll be talking about that after I return from the AAS meeting.

Arne

IRAF
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Another simple way to have a look at IRAF is to use it of a live CD

Go to here http://www.obs-psr.com/astrolinux/astlin_intro/en/intro_en.html and download and burn a CD.

The resulting CD lets you run IRAF on any computer. It is slower than if it is actually installed but works without any fiddling with parameters etc. It isn't the newest version but is OK.

Cheers

 

Terry B

"Things to Do"
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I just got Lauren's "Information for Attendees....".  Under "Things to Do" I didn't see anything specifically astronomical.  Could a visit to Harvard Observatory "great refractor" be arranged?  Are there any other historic telescopes in the Boston area?

Phil Sullivan

Share a cab
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I will be arriving at 1:45pm on Sunday  7/29 if anyone is interested in sharing a cab to Tufts.

 

Barbara

"Things to do"
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Phil: Good point! The list of things to do was originally a list of suggestions that Rebecca compiled for families of people attending meetings who wouldn't necessarily be interested in astronomy-related things, but it is by no means exhaustive.  I do not think we will have the staff time to put together a trip to the CfA while we are arranging the CCD course, but please contact them if you would like to visit, and they may be able to accommodate you! Boston University, the Museum of Science Boston, and MIT are only some of the other astronomy-related facilities in this area. I would urge you to do some research into your own special interests to find out more, because even we won't know everything there is to do around here.  Perhaps some of the people attending the school might chime in on this thread as well with things they've been interested in seeing in Boston!

Share a cab
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Hello Barbara and others:

I would be interested in sharing a cab from Logan to Tufts on Sunday if schedules work out.  I'm flying from Maui to Atlanta on the 28th and will overnight in Atlanta.  Planning to fly to Boston in the late morning/early afternoon on the 29th, so if we can coordinate timing that would be great.

JP

astronomical tourism
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I just emailed the public affairs office at CfA about the posibility of setting up a group tour of the "Great Refractor" at Harvard Obs. for some evening during the week of the class.  ... no answer yet, but they may want to know how many would plan to attend.  It there any interest in this from other class members?

Are there any other astronomical sites we could try to see while we're there?  .. assuming we're not buried in homework every evening.  ;- )

Phil Sullivan 

Visiting "the Great Refractor
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if we can arrange a group trip, Count me in.

Brad Walter, WBY

CfA
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I was just looking at the website and was thinking of calling them today.   Count me in.  

Share a cab
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My arrival time is at 1:45 pm.   What time is yours?

Visit to great refractor
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oye
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Count me in too

Cfa
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Yes Barbara, please call them.  I'd say the more interest that is shown the more likely they will set something up for us.

Phil

Visiting the Great Refractor
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If we can arrange a group trip I would also be interested in this.  Count me in.

JP

Share a cab
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I'll be catching one of the flights from Atlanta to Boston (Delta), but not sure which one yet.  Right now most of the flights are wide open, so pretty flexible.  Will check seat availability that morning and go from there.  Either way will be at Logan by 1:00 pm or earlier.  If this works for you and you're interested we could meet up at the airport and share a cab to the campus.  Let me know and we can figure out how to make contact/connect in BOS.

JP  (JPye@hawaii.edu)

Sharing a Cab
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Barbara,

 

My flight may be too late to share a Cab. I am arriving on AA1616 from Dallas at 2:25 pm Sunday, July 29th. Let me know if that works or not.

direct e-mail bswalter@att.net

Cell phone, which I will have with me on the 29th, if I don't forget it, 512 694 1675

Ride to Tufts
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Hi all,

I live in the Boston area and Linda ( my wife ) will be dropping me off at Tufts (she is hiking in the White Moutains part of the time i'm at Tufts ). We will have room in the Prius for two and luggage. We can swing by Logan and pick folks up. I can arrange my schedule to be there anytime between say 1 and 3 pm. 

Email me at george_sjoberg at yahoo dot net

 

..george

refractor
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Great idea. Count me in, too

 

..geo

Share a cab/Ride to Tufts
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Hello Barbara, Bradley, and George:

Sounds like we might be converging on a transportation solution for those of us who've been talking.  George, thank you for your generous offer to swing by Logan and offer a ride.  If Barbara and/or Bradley and I don't mind a short wait we might all be able to connect at the airport.  If not, or if the cab is a bit full, one or two of us might try to connect up with George.  Sounds workable and allows several of us to descend on Tufts in a show of strength and motivation!  :D

We can trade appropriate contact information (cells, for example) as we get closer if it works out for everyone.  Aloha and see you all at the end of the month.

JP

Transport from Logan to Tufts
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Barbara, George and John,

John, first I like to say thanks for the kind offer of a lift from the airport. It seems like I am the latest arrival and the Prius will only hold two additiaonal passengers. Therefore, I will make my own transportation plans. One of my college roomates lives in the North end and I should stop buy and say hello on my way to Tufts anyway.

Looking forward to it.

Agenda, etc.
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I'll get an agenda sent around this next week.  I've been at MWAIC/ALCON for the past few days, and can now concentrate on the School.  Thanks for everyone taking the lead and arranging common taxis and perhaps a visit to the Great Refractor.  The one issue there is setting a date/time; the class will occupy the time from about 8:30 to 5pm daily, and I'm not sure if people will be available outside normal work hours to handle a tour.  The other spot to consider is the Museum of Science downtown; it has a nice planetarium and displays.  There is a dome at MOS, but I don't know what is in it.  Harvard has a couple of telescopes on top of their Science building, but they are all recent-vintage 16-20" telescopes.  The AAVSO HQ is one "tour" option, if you haven't been there before.  The Mt. Auburn Cemetery is where Janet Mattei and some famous astronomers are buried, such as the Clark family and more recently, John Huchra. Harvard and MIT run "remote" facilities north of Boston with some older telescopes. The Clay Center in Brookline has a nice 25" DFM telescope, and is where Ron Dantowitz resides. Otherwise, there is not a lot of historical astronomy stuff nearby.

Arne

IRAF
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Attached is a script and instructions for IRAF 2.14 I know it works on Ubuntu 9.10. I haven't updated my linux version since 2010 so I am somewhat behind and I have forgotten a lot about linux since then. The updating from dean Chandler's script primarily had to do with changing names of some IRAF files and the locations where they were to be loaded. you might have to make some script modifications to update if file names and locations have changed for the latest version of IRAF. The text and Docx files have the same content but the DocX file is easier to read if you are using a windows machine. The text file formats just fine in gedit if you are using linux.

 in order to attach installirafv2141_ubuntu.sh I had to add a .txt extension and It appears that the AAVSO forum server actually added "_.txt" If you load the file into the ~/iraf directory per the instructions, make sure you change the name back to installirafv2141_ubuntu.sh. Otherwise, it won't execute.

IRAF on Latest Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04
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There is also an ISO file you can download that will install IRAF
on the latestest versions of Ubuntu.  I have installed IRAF on both
Ubuntu 11.04 and 12.04.  

Once you have a working version of 11.04 or 12.04 Unbuntu loaded on a computer,
use the following link to download the IRAF ISO file.

http://www.astro.uson.mx/%7Efavilac/downloads/ubuntu-iraf/iso/IRAF_Ubunt...  

The file is about 330Mb in size so it will take awhile if you don't have a
fast connection.  

After the file is downloaded into your Downloads folder, go to that folder
and click on the ISO file.  This should open the Archive application, then choose the
Extract button to extract the file to a directory of your choice.  I created a
directory called IRAF_1 for this. You should see files named iraf, install, README,
and some others.

Open a terminal window using the terminal command in Ubuntu.  

Move to the directory where you extracted the files using the cd  command

In my case it is: cd /home/jeff/IRAF_1

Type in the terminal window:  sudo sh install.sh

You will be asked for your password, type it in

Now IRAF will begin to install.  The install will download about
an additional 60Mb of files.

You will get some messages about unused variables in the scripts.
Ignore them for now.

Next the actual IRAF installer will run, it should say it executed
with no errors.

Then go to your home directory using the terminal window by

typing:  cd

Then type:  mkiraf

The program will ask what kind of terminal shell you want, type:  xgterm

That is it, you should have a working version of IRAF with several additional applications
loaded as well (WCSTOOLS, DS9, etc).

Now comes the fun part of learning IRAF.  I suggest the following links as a start:

http://www.twilightlandscapes.com/IRAFtutorial/
http://www.noao.edu/kpno/manuals/ice/node20.html

Let me know if you have problems.

Jeff (hjg)
 

Tour
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CQJ
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I am interested in going to see the Great Refractor.

tour
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spp
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On July 4  I sent a (polite) email requesting a group tour of the Great Refractor for the class members to:

pubaffairs@cfa.harvard.edu 

There has been no response.  I resent the request today. If a few more people sent similar requests we might at least get a response.  Perhaps someone knows someone there and could put in a word.

Phil Sullivan

 

The tour is on!
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I just got an email from David Aguilar, head of Public Affairs for CfA.  He has arranged a tour for us on the evening of Monday, July 30th:  a tour of the Great Refractor and observing, weather permitting, with the 9" Clark.  ... here's hoping for only light homework on Monday night.

I expect there will be enough people with vehicles that we could set up a carpool.  I'll need to recontact him about when we plan to arrive.  Perhaps Arne or Lauren could offer some advice on the time we should request for the tour with considerations of the end of the class that day, dinner, travel time to CfA, end of twilight (for observing), etc.

Phil Sullivan

 

 

The tour is on
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WBY
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Thank you Phil. This will be an evening to remember.

transportation
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Aaron Price
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The CfA is easily accessible from the CCD School location (Tufts University) via mass transit. There is a bus that goes straight from Tufts to Harvard square (route #96) that runs every 30 minutes or so. Or you can walk the short distance to Davis Square from Tufts and take the subway. Harvard Square is only 2 stops down the Red Line. The walk from Harvard Square to the CfA is a scenic 1/2 mile or so.

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