Instrumentation and Equipment

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For discussions on all aspects of equipment, from building new devices from scratch, to what ready made products are the best for your current setup. Attached the "Instrumentation and Equipment" observing section.

118 903 By hambsch 3 weeks 2 days ago

NINA to be used for variable stars observations for about 20 to 30 stars a night

Vereniging Voor Sterrenkunde, Werkgroep Veranderlijke Sterren (Belgium) (VVS)
hambsch Sat, 03/04/2023 - 20:14


I wanted to use NINA to replace my aging software suite (MAXIM, CCDCommander) and I am a dedicated variable star observer with a remote site in Chile (but also at home in Belgium).

I would like to see anadvanced sequence in NINA where three stars are observed in snapshot mode (2 images in three (BVI) filters), then 4h of three stars in a series in one filter where  every 1h a plate solving is done, then again 3 stars in snapshots, then again 4h of three stars in one filter with every hour a plate solving. At the end again three stars with snapshot mode.

Equipment from scratch...

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
JV Wed, 03/01/2023 - 07:25

Hi all!

I'm thinking of starting photometric measurements in the near future, though I have no telescope nor any equipment at all really...

I have recently done a course on observational astronomy (with spectrum/polarization observations) and I'm finishing a bachelors degree in physics/astronomy. I work in an other field, so this is just more of a hobby at the moment.

Unistellar Telescopes (eVscope/eQuinox)

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
raymundang Mon, 02/27/2023 - 23:58

Hello AAVSO members and observers,


I decided to start this thread for Unistellar telescope users who are into variable star observing / photometry of targets not currently included in the citizen science missions.


For those using the eVscope or eQuinox in imaging variable stars, what are your usual workflows and software programs being used?




Importance of Guiding

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
btschumy Sat, 02/18/2023 - 16:38

I've only been doing CCD photometry for around 10 months so I'm still on the learning curve.  Based on my reading, I've always thought that guiding was not that critical for differential photometry.  If the stars are slightly out of round, it doesn't matter as long as all the light fits into a reasonably sized aperture.

However, I was just looking at Dennis Conti's "A Practical Guide to Exoplanet Observing" ( and he seems to indicate guiding is critical for the accurate results needed to measure a transit.

Baader photometric filters

HQA Tue, 02/14/2023 - 21:59

I've recently obtained M67 data from a system consisting of a CDK20, QHY268M camera, and Baader BVRI filters.  The B filter does not have a red leak, based on V838 Mon data.  However, I'm a bit disappointed in the transformation coefficients, as calculated by TG.

Tb_bv = 0.211

Tv_bv = -0.017

Tr_vi = -0.130

Ti_vi = -0.051

Tbv = 1.269

Tvr = 1.242

Tri = 0.868

Tvi = 1.037

with typical fitting errors around 0.01 from 3 independent calculations of the coefficients.

CMOS sensor tests

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
bskiff Sun, 02/12/2023 - 18:25

     This paper appeared on the astro-ph preprint server last week:

Scientific CMOS sensors in Astronomy: QHY600 and QHY411

...which details linearity tests, dark current, etc from lab and on-sky tests.  Lightcurves of an asteroid and of an exoplanet transit are displayed.


Capture software & stuff

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Digopak Fri, 02/03/2023 - 17:53

Súper newbie here,

and here I am, another Astroimager taking the plunge; and looking for some low hanging fruit.

Please don’t judge!

Can I use Nina , in  any extent for capturing data?

They came up with a new plug-in regarding EXO planets that can come up with variable and comparable stars.

Can I use Pixinsight, on any extent, to process, calibrate, and maybe even measure a curve?

my equipment

2 TOA150eat with an ASA 6200 MM with Narrowband and broadband filters.

Measurements of my photometric filters

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
TRE Thu, 01/12/2023 - 03:55


If anyone would like the graphs and photos from this article, just email me via the contact here or attempt this URL:

(1) Measurement of Photometric Filters | LinkedIn

New photometric filters were purchased. Some photometric filters had been reported as having out of band leaks. I wanted to measure the actual response of my filters.

Negative pixels with I filter

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
knak Tue, 01/03/2023 - 20:34

I've been doing BV photometry for a few years now and recently moved on to adding R and I.  But I'm finding that with the I filter only, I'm getting many negative pixels in my calibrated images (SBIG ST8XME).  What's the best way to handle this, add an offset to my raw science images before applying darks and flats?  It would only take about 30-50 ADU.