Accession Number:

ADA591269

Title:

CCD Astrometry for Amateurs

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

NAVAL OBSERVATORY FLAGSTAFF AZ

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

1996-03-01

Pagination or Media Count:

11.0

Abstract:

Because reasonably priced CCD detectors are available, amateurs can now make astrometric observations of very high quality. In particular, there is a continual need for observations of asteroids and comets in order to improve their orbits and to better understand their dynamics. A recent paper by Meyer and Raab 1995 describes in very simplified terms how these observations and reductions should be made. However, they overlooked various considerations that are important for good astrometry, namely, not all combinations of telescope focal lengths and pixel sizes are suitable, nor are all choices for a passband. Moreover, astrometry using only three reference stars, which they claim is acceptable, can cause large positional errors. This paper describes the subject in more detail, including a discussion as to how CCD coordinates can be reduced to equatorial coordinates, which amateurs might find interesting. Currently, amateurs are determining the positions of solar system objects accurate to -06 arcsec with the Guide Star Catalog. In a few more years, the Tycho star catalog will become available, and accuracies of -0.1 arcsec should become possible.

Subject Categories:

  • Astronomy

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE