The downloadable PDF of the AAVSO Guide to CCD/CMOS Photometry is a basic introduction and guide to using CCDs or cooled monochrome CMOS cameras to perform photometry of variable stars. This manual is for beginner- to intermediate-level CCD/CMOS observers interested in learning what photometry is and why it is important, how to perform variable star photometry and submit data to the AAVSO, and much more. Advanced CCD/CMOS users who have not done any photometry may also find this helpful.
Please note that if you have a color CMOS camera, you should use the techniques outlined in the AAVSO DSLR Observing Manual.
An older version of the AAVSO Guide to CCD Photometry (that does not include information on CMOS cameras) is available in the following languages:
You can use a backyard telescope to obtain astrophysically useful data that matches the quality of data produced by professional astronomers, using the same principles and techniques that are used at larger research observatories around the world.
Other useful resources for CCD/CMOS camera observers include the following:
- Photometry forum - ask your questions of fellow observers
- Instrumentation & Equipment forum - for more detailed discussion about observing equipment
- Videos - look for "How-to Hour" recordings of interest on our YouTube channel
- CHOICE courses - on-line courses taught periodically throughout the year
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