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Detect exoplanets by yourself with the cheapest equipment

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posted on Oct, 12 2018 @ 03:48 PM
Hi guys,

I detected my first exoplanet (hd 189733 b) and made a video about it showing step by step how I did it. I thought it could be useful for the people interested in the topic or already starting with transit photometry.

The star has an apparent magnitude of 7.7 and the exoplanet produces a drop of 2.8% during almost 2 hours.

I used a tele-photo lens (the Pentacon 135 mm f 2.8), a CMOS camera (ZWO ASI 120 MM) and an equatorial mount (Skywatcher EQ3-2)

I also have a dual-axis motor drive, but a simple one that only controls the right ascension would be enough.

I bought most of the items second-hand from Ebay and I spent around 300 euros.

To set up the tele-photo lens and the camera I have a couple of guide rings and in order to focus the tele-photo lens, I have to separate it 33 mm from the camera by using for example 2 M42 extension rings, one of them 28 mm long and the other one 5 mm.

Now, the steps to detect the exoplanet are the following:

1. To find out when is the exoplanet going to transit the star with the Exoplanet Transit Database.

2. With a program called SharpCap, take for example 5-second exposures with a gain of 1 for 3 hours.

3. Once the transit has finished, with a program called ‘AstroImageJ’ open all the images, select the target star and for example a couple of reference stars, and perform multi-aperture photometry to detect the light curve.

I think it is better explained with a video:
edit on 12-10-2018 by alpha015 because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 12 2018 @ 04:15 PM
a reply to: alpha015

That is super awesome!!! I’m about to get my telescope and mount and do some astrophotoraphy! I can’t wait to get it up and running!

posted on Oct, 21 2018 @ 09:39 AM
Thanks for your answer !

posted on Oct, 21 2018 @ 09:44 AM
That is really fantastic. Congratulations.
I have a back yard observatory and am thinking of starting to hunt for exoplanets using my 9.25inch Celestron SCT.
I've been through the Maxim DL instructions on how to do so with photometry. Going to start with a known exoplanet to get the technique down.
cheers for posting this.

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