CCD Variable observing

Forums Variable Stars CCD Variable observing

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    Just testing the water, really. So bare with me.

    I have a CCD and Altair 115 EDT, and Astro Art 5. And I am just thinking of starting, variable star measurements.

    Can anybody offer any advice on CCD variable star observing, I.e. Some good stars to begin with suitable for this equipment .And how do you go about doing photometry in AA?

    Tony Rodda

    Hi Paul, 

    First stop is the BAA Variable Star Section, here…

    Check out the left hand menus on the home page.  Lots of info on the ‘how’ and the ‘what’ to observe.

    Very rewarding.

    You don’t say what your mount is?  Can it guide?




    Thank you Tony.

    I will have a look at Roger’s website.

    The mount- Losmandy G11 Gemini 1 Level 4.

    Grant Privett

    Yep. AstroArt6 can do photometry, astrometry and relative photometry (batch processing). Look under the Tools options. You have to set up the Star Atlas so its looking at the same lump of sky as your image, which can be a little fiddly, but it works well enough. When I was measuring images of PV Cephei it seemed to produce pretty acceptable results – though I cannot say precisely how accurate as I wasn’t using a V filter.

    I find AstroArt very easy to use, but I have been using it since version 3 🙂

    Andy Wilson

    Hi Paul,

    That sounds like it would be an excellent setup for variable star observing. Some BAA observers have started to use Muniwin for variable star photometry as it produces output files in the format for upload into the BAA VSS database.

    As well as looking at the VSS website it is worth dropping Roger an email line if you would like to start variable star observing. The section is very active and we are always keen for new members. Of course this forum is also ideal for any questions as there are other people can look at the answers.

    Best wishes,

    Andy (BAA VSS Database Secretary) 


    Thank you Grant-Andy.

    Thank you Andy for the link. I will have a look at it.

    Jeremy Shears

    Hello Paul,

    as Andy says, you have an excellent set up for carrying out CCD observations of variables. For several years, I used a 100 mm refractor for doing just that. I know from the quality of your CCD images you have posted that you are well placed to pursue variable star work if you wish.

    Do have a look at the info on the VSS web site (there is a PDF document “The New Variable Star Section CCD Target List” at if you are looking for targets).

    Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    All the best,


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