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Detect exoplanets by yourself with the cheapest equipment

28 Oct, 2019 02:29
Hi guys,

I detected an 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. 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:

Edited 28 Oct, 2019 02:30
29 Oct, 2019 06:13
This is awesome thank you!
29 Oct, 2019 09:04
29 Oct, 2019 11:43
Wonderful tutorial! Thanks a lot for it.
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