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The Minor Planet Observer
Palmer Divide Observatory

2007 Shoemaker Grant Recipient

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A Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis (Second Edition)

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The Practical Guide to Lightcurve Photometry and Analysis is for those who want to use their telescope and CCD camera to obtain and contribute data to the study of asteroids and variable stars. Many amateurs are making worthwhile observations using only modest equipment that lead to the determination of the rotation rate, size, and shape of asteroids. In addition, their data is being used to find the size and temperature of stars in binary systems as well as the size and shape of the orbit in which those stars move about a common center of gravity.

The Guide takes you through the essentials of the process of generating and analyzing lightcurves. Starting with a basic introduction to photometry and filtered observations, you'll learn the considerations you need to make when selecting a camera and software that's right for you and your observing program. Then you'll learn how to develop your own observing program, to obtain and measure images for the highest quality data, and finally how to generate lightcurves and analyze them to determine the period and amplitude of the curve. You'll even learn how to build a binary star system using the Binary Maker program so that the theoretical lightcurve matches yours.

If you're looking to move from basic imaging and take on the exciting and challenging work of asteroid and variable star lightcurves, then the Practical Guide will show you the way!

After release, you can order it on-line at Amazon, Barnes&Noble, or directly from Springer.

Reviews of the First Edition

Click on the link to download the full review in PDF.

"Oh how long we have waited for a book like this!"
Richard Binzel, Editor – Minor Planet Bulletin

"[This] book combines lots of experience with clear instructions. Any owner of a small telescope and CCD photometer will feel encouraged to try to make such professional scientific contributions as the author's."
Brian Warner, author of "Cataclysmic Variables", Astronomy Magazine.

"Brian Warner has provided a useful service to all those would-be amateurs, who, equipped with a small telescope and CCD camera, wish to make worthwhile observations to determine the rotation rate, size and shape of asteroids."
Richard Miles, Journal of the British Astronomical Association


Samples from the first edition. Click on the line to download the PDF.

Foreword by Alan W. Harris, Space Science Institute

Unfiltered Photometry

Aliases Periods in Lightcurve Analysis


Click here to download Adobe Acrobat PDF of errata to second edition.


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This page was last updated on 01/20/11 09:56 -0700.
All contents copyright (c) 2005-2011, Brian D. Warner
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