New Space and Tech

The Contribution Of The Modern Amateur Astronomer To The Science Of Astronomy

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
January 22, 2023
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The Contribution Of The Modern Amateur Astronomer To The Science Of Astronomy
Amateur astronomer Jane Houston Jones holds up the end of one of her homemade telescopes. Credits: NASA

An amateur astronomer in the modern world has the opportunity not only to make visual observations for own interest, but can make scientific astronomical observations and new discoveries in astronomy.

In my example, as amateur astronomer and only through self-education, I inform about my discoveries: of the possible dwarf nova on the old digitized photographic plates and of new variable stars from sky surveys data by means of data mining; how I discovered (in the images of the sky surveys): astronomical transients, supernovae, planetary nebula candidates and new binary systems in the data of Gaia DR2; I describe my discoveries of three novae in the Andromeda Galaxy.

I report about some of my scientific observations using remote telescopes: of superhumps of cataclysmic variable stars; of echo outburst of AM CVn star; of maximum brightness of blazars; of optical afterglows of gamma-ray bursts (including GRB 221009A); of microlensing events; of rotation of near-Earth asteroid 2022 AB.

I also describe my photometric follow-up observations of novae (including V1405 Cas and V1674 Her) and my astrometric observations of Solar System objects (including the confirmation of objects posted at the Confirmation Pages of the Minor Planet Center) including observations of comet 2I/Borisov, asteroids 2020 AV2 and (65803) Didymos. I also describe some of my observations of occultations: of the star by asteroid (159) Aemilia, of the star by Saturn’s moon Titan and of Uranus by the Moon during total lunar eclipse on November 8, 2022; and visual observations of variable stars, meteors and sunspots (including during the transit of Venus in 2012).

Some of my data already used in scientific papers, others were sent to the databases. I share my experience of discovery and research of astronomical objects and in my example, I show that an amateur astronomer can make a real contribution to the science.

Filipp Romanov

Comments: 22 pages, 32 figures, 1 table. Presented as e-Poster during the IAUGA 2022: XXXIst General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (August 2-11, 2022, in Busan, Republic of Korea), at the IAU Focus Meeting 10 “Synergy of Small Telescopes and Large Surveys for Solar System and Exoplanetary Bodies Research”
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as: arXiv:2212.12543 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2212.12543v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
Submission history
From: Filipp Romanov
[v1] Fri, 23 Dec 2022 18:13:55 UTC (6,880 KB)

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.