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Astrophotography - Advanced Topics

Using a CCD camera, one can either capture some very wonderful images of our night sky or perform actual science.

One of the best online resources from scientific imaging with a CCD camera is the AAVSO's CCD Observing Manual.

Santa Barbara Instrument Group has a paper that demonstrates the scientific abilities of their ST-7XEI and ST-9XEI CCD Cameras. It is a must read for those who want to perform science with their backyard equipment.

To read these papers, you will need:

For fun, I created a map - a step by step - image reduction, available here: Image Reduction Map

Coming soon is a detailed paper on the Photometric System - a step by step tool on creating your own Color Magnitude Diagram and the math used to evaluate your data.

Amateur and professional Astronomer's do work together. There are several areas of Astronomy that the professional relies on the amateur: asteroid hunting, novae and supernova searches, comets, meteors and gamma ray burst detections.

While many of the professional all sky survey's will all but eliminate and chance of an amateur to discover many of these objects, professional astronomers rely on the amateur for follow-up data. While the professionals have access to the big telescopes, there are not enough and telescope time is reserved months in advance. When time on the big scope is granted, such time is limited and not enough to track or study these phenomenon on a long term basis. Enter the amateur: scattered throughout the globe and boasting computer controlled telescopes with sensitive CCD cameras, the amateur is in a position to offer valuable long term data for the professional. Below are a list if links that can help you get involved with these advanced astrophotographic topics that offer real scientific benefits:

Valuable on-going data collection is needed by the pros. If you have a telescope and a CCD camera, why not lend a hand. Two such sources needing continual data are the AAVSO and Transitsearch.

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