Software for Aperture and Point Source Function photometry

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Wed, 01/18/2023 - 02:03

Hello all.


I am looking for the best software for aperture and PSF photometry. I would also like the ability to pull in photometric catalogs such as APASS, SkyMapper, SDSS, and such. 

What do you all use for your photometry?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Photometry software

Did you mean Point Spread Function photometry?  This is an advanced topic.  I'm not aware of any photometry programs designed for amateurs that use this.    You should stick with the basics as a beginner.

Many AAVSO observers, including myself, use VPhot.   One of the VPhot advantages is the AAVSO on-line CHOICE course Photometry using VPhot which is usually offered in the fall. 

VPhot also directly uploads comp stars selected by the AAVSO sequence team.  These AAVSO comp stars sequences use stars from many sources including APASS.  VPhot does not do image calibration, so you would need another software package to do that.  You must be an AAVSO member to use VPhot.

MaximDL is also popular with AAVSO observers. 

There is a list of recommended photometry software in the AAVSO Guide to CCD/CMOS Photometry.   You can download this Guide from the AAVSO web site.



American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Hey Phil.  Thanks for the…

Hey Phil.  Thanks for the response. I am quite familiar with PSF and we currently use it, along with aperture,  as it's provided to us via a Python script from our calibrated FITS. However, that python source that we use is not as reliable as we'd like it to be. Therefore, we are seeking other alternatives to achieve the same capabilities in house and not outsourcing. This is the real impetus for the question. I should have explained our needs a little more. 


Thank you, Grady