Here are the six main areas of research on eclipsers that are accessible without large professional equipment, highly specialised software, or a deep background in physics, astrophysics, mathematics or software programming. They do however require certain equipment, computer skills, and of course an ongoing immersion in the literature. In other words there is nothing to stop you finding a niche. What is required by way of equipment and skills (more like determination) are discussed in each topic.1.Obtaining Times of Minimum2.Deriving Light Elements3.Investigating period change (O-C)4.Obtaining a full phased light curve5.Obtaining spectra6.Light curve analysis and system modellingIn addition, targets of opportunity can arise from time to time, as well pro-am collaborative campaigns and the study of unusual or particularly important eclipsing binaries. Some eclipsers such as V685 Cen and R Ara are evolving rapidly yet are poorly monitored. Others such as Z Cha and VZ Scl are cataclysmic or novalike variables or otherwise given to irregular or eruptive behaviour. These are frequent campaign targets and anyway should be monitored closely. Even the routine monitoring of poorly observed eclipsers can yield important surprises, such as the discovery of a pulsating component or a significant change in the light curve or period. Even Algol has not had its light curve checked for several years!These sorts of systems and campaigns may require specialised observing and analysis methods, and close collaboration with a professional team. Any suggestions for a campaign on such targets of opportunity should be sent to Tom Richards (CCD) or Mark Blackford (DSLR).
Page author: TJRLast edit: 2016-03-19
Mark Blackford (DSLR)m.blackford at optusnet.com.auTom Richards (CCD & website)tomprettyhill at gmail.com