n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - Synchronizing high-speed optical measurements with amateur equipment : observers page

Volume 72, Issue 5_6
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



The purpose of this investigation is to demonstrate a low-cost method for measuring weak, rapid variable stellar flux with standard amateur class telescopes and CCD cameras. The nature of the flux under discussion is optical, periodic and in the millisecond time frame. Combining measurements spaced over a period of days to improve (S/N) ratio is possible, but requires unprecedented timing accuracy, not common to optical astronomy (Eastman, J. et al. 2010). A typical related application is measuring signals from a pulsar in optical wavelengths. A low cost system will be introduced to demonstrate this technology, capable of resolving the light curve of the 16.5 magnitude pulsar in the Crab Nebula, with a 20cm telescope.

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