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    Roger Dymock
    Dr Paul Leyland

    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.

    Richard Miles

    Yes indeed, ‘Xilman’ – thanks for highlighting this work as it is a rapidly growing are of opportunity for amateur astronomers.

    No need to put an attachment as the PDF link to the astro-ph website opens just fine.

    For UK / northern hemisphere observers this is still the ‘off-season’ for transit observations as nights are too short to encompass most of the entire transits plus an hour or more either side of the fade. September should mean we can all have a go at this worthy pursuit especially during the winter months.

    Dr Paul Leyland

    My real name is Paul Leyland but I’ve been using the pseudonym for many years now.

    The reason is quite simple: there are many ‘Paul Leyland’s on the net but only one Xilman as far as I know. Searching on my pseudonym is almost guaranteed to find only me. Searching on my real name is likely to turn up several false positives.

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