To calibrate or not to calibrate

Forums Computing Great new book To calibrate or not to calibrate

Jeremy Shears

Hah! The old “to calibrate or not to calibrate” debate! My view: calibration is needed on scientific images, where one intends to extract data, such as photometry. But if it’s purely for images, then the choice is yours. The proof of pudding is in the eye of the beholder (to mix two sayings). I have seen many wonderful images which were not calibrated, which also convey the beauty of the night sky. I also think that for beginners, who may be keen to get their first results, then there is no real issue in not calibrating – they can move onto that later.

A similar debate has run in CCD photometry on the use of photometric filters (he ventures, not really wishing to trigger another subject of debate). There is certainly a place for using these, depending on the objective of the work. But I have noticed that some beginners have been put off even starting CCD photometry because they are worried about getting V filters etc. I say: have a go unfiltered to start with and select you targets with that in mind. If you find you like the work, then by all means invest in filters later.

Go well!