Social Media Sidebar


Please sign up, comment on articles and bring your friends!

Current poll

PlanetTech is asking:

What do you think about our new web site?

Love it, indeed
Really good solution
Same as old one
The old one was better
This is a new option

Quote of the day

Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.


Thomas Edison

Your Run-of-the-Mill Digital Camera Can Now Detect Alien Planets

Posted in Science on 8th Dec, 2014 08:30 PM by AlexMuller

Astronomy is no stranger to citizen scientists. Amateur stargazers are credited with the discovery of comets, asteroids, and even planets. That said, while amateurs don’t use multi-million dollar observatories, it’s still an expensive hobby. Or rather it was, modern tech, is taking homebrew astronomy to new heights.

How high? Off-the-shelf gear assembled at home for under $500 (used) can observe an object 370 trillion miles from Earth. David Schneider recently detected a planet orbiting a star 63 light years away using naught but a hinged plywood base, a stepper motor, some gears from an inkjet printer, an arduino microprocessor, and a digital camera (with telephoto lens).
The planet, HD 189733 b, was discovered in 2005. Its tight orbit and large mass make it an exoplanet type known as a ‘hot Jupiter’. Many early exoplanet discoveries were like HD 189733 b because their gravitational and light curve effects were more obvious than similar effects from smaller worlds orbiting at greater distances. HD 189733 b is the nearest known hot Jupiter to Earth. Together, these characteristics made the planet an ideal candidate for Schneider’s project.
His first challenge was building a star tracker to keep the camera trained on the target star system (as it moved with Earth’s rotation) for long exposures. That’s where the arduino, motor, and barndoor base came in. “Aligning the hinge to your hemisphere’s celestial pole allows you to track a star as the plywood “doors” separate at a constant rate,” Schneider writes.
The next challenge was getting the star, not visible to the naked eye, into the camera’s field of view. Schneider used a $20 viewfinder and waypoints, like the Dumbbell Nebula, to locate the system. Then using software that came with his camera, he took a series of automated exposures (50 seconds each) of the star.

Tags: planetcameraexoplanetspaceastronomy

Read original article » Back to category


Author: Guest
Posted: 2014-12-09
Astronomy as a hobby was always popular and with crowed funding becoming an important source of revenue keeping it this way could be an advantage for space explorations Reply
Author: Guest
Posted: 2016-05-06
That's what we've all been waiting for! Great pogsint! Reply


Recent headlines

  • Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-23 01:38:21
    UCLA engineer develops 3D printer that can create more
    Posted in Business on 2018-05-23 01:43:09
    China Launches Satellite Bound for the Far Side of the more
    Posted in Business on 2018-05-21 16:28:10
    Anti-nuclear policies increased global carbon by more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:22:31
    Magic mushroom treatment improves emotional more
    Posted in Medicine on 2018-05-21 16:18:57
    Antioxidant found to wind back the clock on blood more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-10 01:33
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Business on 2013-10-20 07:17
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Software on 2013-10-20 06:43
Pirate Bay Browser Clocks 1,000,000 more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-10 02:10
Google reportedly investing hundreds of millions into more
Posted in Medicine on 2013-10-14 03:13
Endothelial Cells Can Repair and Regenerate Organs, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Spacex says China is their main competitor for more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Staring at Your Phone Could Be Making You Short more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Oculus Rift virtual reality headset coming to mobile, more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
China is working towards a manned lunar mission in more
Posted in Science on 01.01.2010
Delivering drugs via nanoparticles to target more

Recent Blog Posts

  • Posted by AlexMuller
    In five years quantum computing will be more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Google partners with Johnson and Johnson to make lower more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Electron holography microscope with spatial resolution down more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Lower cost advanced Nuclear power could dominate future US more
    Posted by AlexMuller
    Why Hasn’t AI Mastered Language Translation? more

Login to your Account

Login to your PlanetTech Account here

Remember me

Create a New Account

You just need username and password

The following errors occured:
Verify password:
Remember me