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Photometry Resources

Astronomical Photometry - The single most important book for any photometrist

ASTRONOMICAL PHOTOMETRY A Text and Handbook for the Advanced Amateur and Professional Astronomer, Henden and Kaitchuck, 9.5" by 6", 392 pages, hardbound.

Photometry, the measurement of light flux, is one of the most fundamental and oldest research techniques employed in astronomy. It is also an area where valuable contributions can be made by amateur astronomers using small telescopes. Most people who do photometry have learned the hard way, because how-to books in this field are very few and often incomplete. This book is intended to fill this gap for both amateur and professional astronomers who wish to learn the techniques of photoelectric photometry. It begins with an overview of photometry and its history, followed by an explanation of photometric systems and how they are defined. There are three chapters dealing with statistics, required calculations and the processing of the observational data. These chapters, and their related appendices, contain many worked examples to aid the beginner. There are step-by-step instructions on the design and constriction of the photometer head, and two chapters on the associated electronics. The book ends with outlines of some practical observing techniques, suggestions for research projects, and useful appendices of difficult to find information. This book will be an excellent self-contained reference for interested amateur astronomers, astronomy graduate students, or professional astronomers learning photoelectric photometry for the first time.

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Photoelectric Photoometry of Variable Stars, 2nd Edition

PEP of Variable StarsPhotoelectric Photometry of Variable Stars, 2nd Edition, A Practical Guide for the Smaller Observatory, edited by Douglas S. Hall and Russell M. Genet.   6" x 9", 240 pages, hardbound.

Can amateur astronomers make significant contributions to the Science of Astronomy? In this book you learn how dedicated amateurs, using either home built or commercial equipment, regularly produce data that is published in professional journals. One example, Louis Boyd (shown on the front cover) designed and built an automatic photoelectric telescope that makes hundreds of observations each clear night. His pioneering work has spawned a whole generation of highly productive instruments. But, you do not need an automatic telescope or vast amounts of spare time to be a valuable observer --- this book, written and edited by both professional and amateur astronomers shows you how to design a program that is both personally satisfying and scientifically valuable.

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Scientific Organizations:

AAVSO - American Association of Variable Star Observers


The AAVSO is an international non-profit organization of variable star observers whose mission is to enable anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy.

The AAVSO was founded in 1911 to coordinate variable star observations—made largely by amateur astronomers—for Harvard College Observatory. The AAVSO was incorporated in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1918 as a non-profit scientific and educational organization. Today, as an independent, private research organization headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with active participants in 108 countries, and an archive of over 23 million variable star observations, it is the world’s largest association of variable star observers.

International Occultation and Timing Association


The SSP-3 and SSP-5 photometers are well suited for accurate timings of astronomical events such as lunar and asteroid occultation's. IOTA is the best resource for obtaining information and participating in joint observations of these events. Click here to learn more.