Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis

ISBN-10: 0387293655

ISBN-13: 9780387293653

Edition: 2006

Authors: Brian D. Warner, Alan W. Harris

List price: $39.95
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The Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis provides those with access to even a modest telescope and a CCD camera the background and detailed steps to take part in important astronomical research. Readers learn about the joint projects in which they can take part, as well as the techniques of gathering, analyzing, and then publishing their data. The primary market for this book is amateur astronomers, but undergraduate students will also find its easy going friendly style ideal for help with their studies in this subject. There is of course more to lightcurve photometry than simply taking pictures. For the results to be of value, the data must be gathered and processed in certain ways so that it is both meaningful and can be used by others for analysis. The book contains enough background material (theory) for the reader to understand - and avoid - the pitfalls in the process. More important, there are detailed examples provided for hpw to obtain data and, for many, the more exciting and rewarding effort of analyzing the data to determine various properties of the object being studied. Under "choosing the right software," the author looks critically at the commercially-available packages, providing screen shots and useful advice. Amateur astronomers who wants to go beyond mere imaging with a CCD camera will find everything ithat they need in the book to take a step into 'real' science.
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Book details

List price: $39.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Springer
Publication date: 2/22/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 298
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.968
Language: English

Alan W. Harris is a practicing veterinarian and homeschooling father of six. In the over thirty years of training his children, Dr. Harris discovered that stories most engaged the attention of his children, whose ages range over twenty years. Through the format of story-telling, Dr. Harris was able to incorporate spiritual insights and lessons about good character that opened up worthy discussions and opportunities to apply the lessons to individuals. The excitement, humor, and sitting-on-the-edge-of-their-seats suspense made the learning a joyful, family-bonding experience that all of them thrill to remember. He hopes his books do the same for your family.

Getting Started
What Is Lightcurve Photometry?
What Lies Ahead
Targets of Opportunity
Variable Stars
Eclipsing Binary Lightcurve Characteristics
Cataclysmic Variables
Long Period (Mira) Variables
Semi-Regular Variables
Other Targets
Photometry Fundamentals
A Little Bit of History
The First Color-Based Systems
The Johnson-Cousins Standard
Setting the Standard
Seeing Red
CCDs and Standard Magnitudes
Landolt Standards
Henden Sequences
The Photometry Primer
Instrumental Versus Standard Magnitudes
Air Mass
Transforms and Nightly Zero-Points
Differential Versus All-Sky Photometry
Seeing and Scintillation
Matching Pixel Size to Seeing
Bias Frames
Dark Frames
Flat Fields
Photometry Apertures and Annuluses
Reporting Errors
Photometric Reductions
The Different Path
The Differential Formula
Clear to Visual Conversions
First-Order Extinctions - Are They Really Necessary?
The Same Color Index
Transforms First
Finding Transforms
The Hidden Transforms
First-Order Extinction
Finding First-Order Extinction (Modified Hardie)
A Variation on the Modified Hardie method
Finding First-Order Extinction (Comp Star)
Comparison and Target Standard Color Index Values
Find the Color Indices of the Comparisons and Target
The Comparison Star Standard Magnitudes
Finding the Comparison Star Standard Magnitudes
Target Standard Magnitudes
Finding the Standard Magnitudes of the Target
The Different Path's End
A Minimalist Approach
Using the Minimalist Approach for Standard Magnitudes
Second Order Extinction
Deriving a Single-Color Approach
The Slope of Slopes Method
When Is the Second-Order Term Applied?
Telescopes and Cameras
The Telescope
The CCD Camera
Digital and Web Cameras
Filter Wheels
Guiding Considerations
Imaging and Photometry Software
Image Acquisition Software
Specific Features
Photometry Software
Conforming to Accepted Standards
Manual Versus Automated Measuring
Collecting Photons
The First Step - Getting the Right Time
Planning the Observing Program
Selecting Targets
General Considerations
Variable Stars
The Observing Run
Measuring Images
From Image to Data
The Hands-On Approach for Measuring Images
Checking the Comparison Stars
The Automated Approach to Measuring Images
Analyzing the Data
The Quality of Data
Period Analysis
About Merging Data and Setting Zero-Points
A Simple Start
To What Precision
Refining the Search Process
The Amplitude of the Lightcurve
Aliases in Depth
Plotting the Half-Period
A Specific Alias Example
The Case of 3155 Lee
Period Analysis on a Spreadsheet
From Lightcurve to Shape
Building Star Systems
Getting Started
Binary Maker
The Many Possibilities
The Effects of Changing the Inclination
The Effects of Temperature Changes in the Primary
The Effects of Temperature Changes in the Secondary
The Effects of Changing the Mass Ratio
The Effects of Gravity/Limb Darkening and Reflection
Publishing Your Data and Results
Confirm Before You Publish
Variable Stars
Learn by Association
Constellation Names
Transforms Example
Example Transforms Data
The Spreadsheet
The Hidden Transforms
First-Order (Hardie) Example
The Data
The Spreadsheet
First-Order (Comp) Example
The Data
The Spreadsheet
Standard Color Indices
The Data
The Spreadsheet
Comparison Standard Magnitudes
The Data
The Spreadsheet
Target Standard Magnitudes
The Data
The Spreadsheet
Landolt/Graham Standard Fields
Henden Charts
Hipparcos Blue-Red Pairs
Steps used to produce the List
Hipparcos Blue-Red Pairs
SDSS Blue-Red Pairs
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