Please read this!

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#582757
Paul Leyland
Participant

Roger has put together an excellent issue, well worth reading even if you do not plan to do any active observing of exoplanets. That said …

One of the links in Infinite Worlds is https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.09046 which points to a paper entitled Telescopes Operated by Citizen Scientists for Transiting Exoplanet Follow-up where the BAA gets a name check. The exciting take-home message from this paper is that amateurs can perform genuinely important original research and save professional astronomers, using both ground-based and satellite facilities, quite literally years of their scarce and expensive telescope time. Even better, telescopes with apertures of 15cm or so are easily capable of contributing to this effort. (Bigger ones can do more, of course, but they are not essential.)

I urge all BAA members capable of imaging the sky to seriously consider spending a portion of their observing time to help out. The efforts need not be full-time as even a few sporadic sessions form a valuable contribution.

Unfortunately the PDF of that paper is just a little too big to attach to this post uncompressed, and the forum doesn’t allow for files with extensions such as “.z” or “.zip”. Accordingly, I created a ZIP file which squeaks under the limit and renamed it with a .fits extension. If you wish to read the paper, please download the file, then rename it to be named “smallscope_exoplanet.pdf.zip” and finally unzip it with whatever archive program you generally use.