Reply To: Deep Sky Webinar

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Robin Leadbeater

Richard Berry is trying the Origin out for variable star photometry. There is the opportunity to use the green channel as with DSLRs, or all the light, depending on the goal of the observation.
The HOYS Citizen Science Project are accepting observations from ZWO Seestar 50mm telescopes, these use a colour CMOS chip. This is a research project run by Dirk Froebrich at the University of Kent, to monitor young stars.
Both of these approaches use the raw files saved by these smart-telescopes, rather than the processed images displayed on smartphones and tablets.

These ideas might attract people into scientific applications of their kit but these solutions are pretty suboptimal. It reminds me of the days of converting webcams for deep sky imaging. The results were impressive given the limitations of the kit but far from what came after based on the huge interest in imaging it generated. Hopefully the smart scope manufacturers might see there is a market for mono sensors which can take filters. ZWO should be perfectly placed to do this for example as their SeeStar uses the same CMOS sensor in colour version as another of their cameras which uses the mono version (There are apparently already people using Star Analyser on the front of this scope and even hacking into it to mount it internally, though the colour sensor is a big drawback)

There are other examples of areas where there is a tension between what is good for (marketing to) imagers and not for science. For example fancy mulit-coatings which make the difference between 95 and 98% are a disaster for short wavelength measurements.