Saturday, February 13, 2016

As discussed at the research and astrophotography meeting, I suggested a project for those of us interested. It will involve  doing differential photometry this summer on a very peculiar star. The star is Tabby's Star or KIC 8462852 or TYC 3162-0665-1.

The star is about 12th magnitude and both Luna 1 and Luna 2 will easily pick up and we can compare its brightness to neighbor stars.
Reason why we would want to image it is because it has strange dips in brightness that is so far unexplained. In fact in some instances it dimmed up to  22%!

Not only that, it also has smaller dips in brightness that are very irregular. A month ago, a new paper was published showing that this star has dimmed by about .16 of a magnitude over last century.

Overall, I think this should be very exciting and challenging project. At NJAA, we have a book called "The handbook of Astronomical Image Processing". It has a very good information about how to do photometry. Also, there is a lot of resources on the web about it.

Here are some of the links to learn more about this star.

This is the original paper that brought it to attention. After that a lot of news sources started talking about it.

Wiki article on it

Recent paper that showed it slowly getting dimmer over last 100 years.

Phil Plait's article

AAVSO alert notice to start imaging it