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Aaron Price
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Welcome

The class will officially begin May 1. Until then, feel free to post a message introducing yourself to the others. We have 14 people registered for the class. This will be the first time we have run this particular topic, so we'll be interested in your feedback during and after the course! The curriculum will be based on two chapters from a book on CCD photometry Arne is writing.

nlx
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Introduction

Hi I'm Peter Nelson,

I live in Ellinbank, Victoria, Australia.  I have a Planewave 125 with a ST8XE camera, CFW10 filter wheel and BVRIg'r'i'C filters.  I have been doing photometry for quite awhile now, but wish to learn more.

CMJA
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Introduction by Michael Cook

My wife, Heather, and I live in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada and I'm the humble owner-operator of Newcastle Observatory on the north shore of Lake Ontario.  You can read more about the observatory at the web site: http://www.newcastleobservatory.ca.

I was pleased to learn of this CHOICE course since I was always somewhat unsure of my calibration techniques.

I started out in astronomy with a Criterion RV-6" reflector (remember those!) in 1975, and graduated up to a Criterion Dynamax 8" SCT in 1978. I eventually housed this scope in a DYI domed observatory that was featured in the December 1982 issue of S&T. The Dynamax was replaced with a Meade 12" LX200 in 1996. I also owned an 18" Obsession and enjoyed 5 years of deep-sky observing with it from the backyard and at star parties in Ontario and Florida. I sold the 18" to focus on observatory development.

While I made a few magnitude estimates of variable stars many years ago, I consider myself a late bloomer when it comes to variable star astronomy.  I had been taking "pretty pictures" of deep-sky objects, but I was bitten by the photometry bug while following mutual eclipses of Jupiter's satellites in the late summer of 2009.  I "discovered" that I found real value in measuring what I was observing.  I am mainly interested in using CCD instruments, and I started learning CCD photometry with a Meade DSI attached to a Meade 12" LX200.  Almost 2 years ago I upgraded to a Meade 16" SCT on a Mathis fork mount, and the more capable QSI 516 CCD with AstroDon BVRI photometric filters.  I also delved into the automation by acquiring ACP. A great tool to collect photons while you're sleeping!

Newcastle Observatory and the equipment it holds is part of my 5-year plan toward retirement (now only 35 months away) when I will be able to immerse myself in variable star work. I try and crack open the dome every clear night, but the wee hours of the morning arrive all too early, and that dang job just gets in the way!

I am the founding President of the 11-year young, ~100-member Durham Region Astronomical Association (Google us) and I have been borderline evangelical to our members about variable star observing.  I'm aniticipating that what I learn in this program will also help me preach the message and get others involved with this variable star addiction.

I'm looking forward to chatting up a storm with all of you over the next four weeks, and I also have to fit in my attendance at the SAS conference in Big Bear, CA toward the end of May.

Clear Skies & Good Observing!

Michael

mada
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A brief introduction

Greetings,

I'm Adam Mills, from Whitby, Ontario, Canada. Also a DRAA member, though rather a lurker, and not much for attending meetings.

The Citizen Sky project drew me into photometry of epsilon Aurigae, which I attempted with a Canon S30. More recently I moved up to an SBIG ST-8XME on an Astro-Tech 6" RC and Skywatcher HEQ5. Thanks in large part to a schedule and weather that don't want to line up, my experience level with this gear remains fairly low.

As an apartment-dwelling mobile astronomer, I hope to learn from this course some techniques to improve both the quality of my calibration images, and the efficiency with which I produce them. Better flats would be particularly welcome.

I look forward to chatting with and learning from you all.

CMJA
CMJA's picture
Re: DRAA

Heh Adam! Glad to see you here too. Now we can form a tag team to get other DRAA members convinced to do photometry and submit data to the AAVSO.  Hopefully I'll see you at an upcoming DRAA meeting.

Michael

mada
mada's picture
Re: DRAA

Hi Michael,

I'm not sure how much my powers of persuasion are worth, but I'm always happy to be another voice for variables. With any luck, I'll be making it to next week's meeting.

Adam

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