The emergence of Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras as cost effective astronomical imaging platforms has been underway for some years now. However, it has become clear that these cameras can be used for scientific work such as photometry in addition to their more traditional role in taking “pretty pictures”. participants of VSS are actively involved in exploring their use in this away and have identified key areas of research in which they are more suitable than traditional CCD cameras.
A tutorial for those learning DSLR photometry can be found on this site here.
Note that like Visual Observing, this area of research within VSS is based around the technique of observing, rather than purely the nature of the objects being studied. Some of the projects below therefore overlap with the research areas that focus purely on specific types of variable stars.
Coordinator: Tom Richards
“Everybody knows” that wide, visually separated binaries provide an indispensable first step to astrophysics as well as the distance scale ladder. All we need to know is their distance by parallax methods, their orbital period P, and the apparent size of the orbit. True orbit follows, then their masses. Magnitudes at that distance give true luminosities which with their colour gives temperatures, thence their size. There’s no other way of making this first interstellar step.