Posted by TonyAngel at 10:50 on 2012 Nov 06
Hi Richard, I did ask Roger Pickard at the TA and VSS meeting if he would be including Exoplanets in his section (after all they do cause stars to vary :).I have read through Bruce Gary´s book and am slowly working through a couple of others. As you know the Czech Astronomical Society have a very good Variable Star and Exoplanet Section which runs their TRESCA Project, which includes the ETD – Exoplanet Transit Database. The organisation I am working with – Searchlight Observatory Network – has started submitting observations to them. The data I sent to them was collected from the observatory located on my farm which I operate for them. Upto now I have produced light curves of four exoplanets and only bad weather has caused a short halt. The setting up of the ETD must have involved a huge amount of effort and would take quite a long time to produce something similar, including all the utilities. Maybe it would be worthwhile considering forging a link with this organisation. They are far ahead of the AVVSO in this field.Most of the exoplanets that I have been observing have a change of magnitude in the range of 0.02. The great majority of exoplanets have a change of magnitude far less than this and require specialised software such as Mira or better equipment. The observing runs tend to be in the two to three hours, taking an image every one minute, so a good mount and guiding system is required. Yes a small(ish) telescope can be used. After all the SuperWasp project were just using Cannon lenses. It would be helpful for there to be a talking shop for this. There is a Yahoo Group but there is not much discussion on it. There are some good papers in the MNRAS and in the arXiv database.Perhaps a starting point would be to have a dedicated discussion area on the forum for exoplanets.