Why build a stellar photometer?

20/08/2018

Building a stellar photometer clearly goes against the current trend. Almost all amateur photometrists use CCD cameras, and yet I have completed a complicated project to build a stellar photometer based on a photomultiplier. Why?. I could give two main reasons:

  • Using a photometer allows you to take photometric measurements that are different from the usual ones for a photometric amateurs, so you can go into less explored areas. An example might be high brightness variable stars, but as this photometer (based on a photomultiplier) is built, other very interesting areas such as high speed photometry arise.

  • A second reason is that doing photometry with a photometer based on a photomultiplier is literally "counting electrons" which allows you to approach photometry much closer to the underlying physics. That is, we can make the measurements more physically meaningful and learn a lot about them.

On the web, in the projects section, a new section has been added with the details of how the instrument works and how it has been built.

 

 

 

 

 

The result is from my point of view very promising, achieving accuracies of 1 milli-magnitude with a fully automatic measurement and data reduction process. 

 

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