The Measurement of Astronomical Parallaxes With Ccd Imaging Cameras on Small Telescopes
SmaU telescopes equipped with charge-coupled device ( CCD) imaging cameras are well suited to introductory laboratory exercises in positional astronomy (astrometry). An elegant example is the determination of the parallax of extraterrestrial objects, such as asteroids. For laboratory exercises suitable for introductory students, the astronomical hardware needs are relatively modest, and, under the best circumstances, the analysis requires little more than arithmetic and a microcomputer with image display capabilities. Results from the first such coordinated parallax observations of asteroids ever made are presented. In addition, procedures for several related e.xperiments, involving single-site observations and/or parallaxes of earth-orbiting artificial satellites, are outlined.
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