View Full Version here: : Asteroid Photometry and Canopus

01-10-2010, 11:19 AM
Tried out Brian Warners MPO Canopus software on a fast mover last night. His software has the ability to shape the measuring annulus, in this case long and thin, to get the signal from the complete trailed image of the asteroid (it can do the reverse if you tracked and stacked images on the asteroids motion and got trailled stars)

Anyway, it was 15-16 mag, and created a 22 pixel long streak (at 1.32"/px) in a 2 minute integration AND I was imaging through thin cloud. (2010 RC130 was the target. Its lightcurve shows 3 overlapping periods) It was a world wide campaign to attempt to get 24-48hrs of continuous data to try and nail down the nature of this rock.

Cut a long story short - the shaped annulus measuring worked and worked well and although I could barely see the target on my images most of the time, I was able to extract data with 0.03 to 0.1mag precision (target amplitude is around 1 mag). Combined with Canopus' CSS differential photometry process (ability to link nightly data to +/- 0.02-0.05mag precision) we amateurs have the means of tackling the photometry for brighter fast moving NEO's using a process as simple as differential photometry.


01-10-2010, 11:31 AM
Yes, it's a nice bit of software....especially for $65:)

Mira Pro (as well as the other versions) will do the same, but it can cost up to $650!!!.

There's another one, GAIA, a free app from Durham Uni, that can do much the same (for Linux and OSX). Haven't looked for a Win version.

01-10-2010, 11:40 AM
I always did like the look of Mira Pro - they even have a seniors discount :) Looks like they also have a special on for the Ultimate edition ~$200 off

01-10-2010, 11:44 AM
Yeah, they have some good bargains and such:)

(The full price would be enough to spit out your falsies!!!:):P:P)

I'd like to be able to buy the full product. Probably will seeing as I'm doing postgrad astrophysics.

01-10-2010, 12:18 PM
I purchased MPO Canopus few moths ago and although it works well, I dislike the interface and the user manual. It jumps from one subject to other and it is skewed to asteroid photometry that does not interest me much. I may get Mira one day when I save enough to buy it.

01-10-2010, 01:03 PM
I wouldn't say skewed to asteroid photometry. It has just as much Stellar photometric functionality as it does asteroid specific functionality! I do all my eclipsing binary discoveries with it. There is a lot more to set up in Canopus if you want to do AAVSO variable stars, if thats what you mean.