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Which Observational Project sounds funner/easier?

  1. Sep 19, 2012 #1
    1-Observing and Asteroid. Determine is orbit with a CCD camera and calculate its diameter(3-5 nights)
    2-Observing a Variable Star. Over several nights observe a variable star and generate a light curve
    3-Open Cluster HR Diagram. Observe starts in an open cluster and by using standard starts make an HR diagram and estimate age
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2012 #2


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    Variables stars are very easy to observe and generate a light curve for. You could also add to your list Exoplanet Transit Light Curves. I've done one of those myself. If you've got at least an 8 inch telescope, a monochrome camera, and a fairly dark sky you can do it. (It's what I used)
  4. Sep 20, 2012 #3


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    Variable stars are a good opportunity for an amateur to contribute to science knowledge. AAVSO is a leader in this field. Numbers matter in science.
  5. Sep 20, 2012 #4
    I'd go with two, because you are doing real and important research. Asteroids have had their orbits measured and we've already done HR diagrams of open clusters. On the other hand, the fact that on date X, the magnitude of star Y was Z is quite important information.

    One other thing with asteroids is measuring their orbits and diameters isn't that useful (i.e. someone has done it before). Measuring rotational light curves is somewhat more useful.

    Also, you can have fun with this web site

  6. Sep 20, 2012 #5
    Ok, thanks! I was doing a bit of research myself as well, and that one does seem to be the best! :)
  7. Sep 21, 2012 #6
    3 seems most interesting to me since it involves observations plus some astrophysics to determine the age.
  8. Sep 23, 2012 #7
    3 would be a nice *theoretical* project. There are some open source stellar evolution models online and it would be an interesting project to play with the models to get you an isochrone.
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