Be Star spectroscopy automated observation

PGM scripting language, search and discovery of comets, asteroids and supernova.
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Olivier Thizy
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:24 am

Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:04 am


thanks to PRISM v10, I have been able to acquire my 1000th spectrum of a Be star in Halpha. Including individual echelle spectra order, I have passed the 20000 milestone alreay in Be Star Spectra database:

Most importantly, inspired by scripts from Alain Maury, Thierry Lemoult or Stéphane Charbonnel, and of course all the exemples in Prism help, I have been able to write my own script to automatically open the equipment, observe a serie of Be stars (goto, centering to the spectroscope's fiber tip, autoguiding, acquisition) and then close the equipment at the end of the night.

There is still lot to do (weather management, target scheduling, fainter target astrometry telescope synch, exposure time adjustment to transparency/seeing...) but this is a key milestone for me with my second night of automated observation.

Of course it would be great to have it included in the automatic observation module in Prism which works so great for imaging or photometry - maybe some time. But I also have fun writing my own script too! :-)

Bottom lin, THANKS to Cyril Cavadore and his great PRISM v10 software which allows me to control ALL my equipment (and we know it's not always easy as astronomical equipment tend to be picky sometimes) in a MS Windows environment (ok... let's not start on MS Windows 'picky' behavior now!)... this is opening a new era for me... ready for the next 1000 spectra!

PS: if you are wondering why observing Be stars is important, check out paper using BeSS database data (link on BeSS website) and ARASBeAm website:
Current news and monthly report are usually published on Spectro-L discussion group:

PS2: for details of my equipment, there is my blog:
In summary: fiber fed echelle spectrograph with Atik 460ex camera, guiding with Atik Titan camera a Celestron C11 on a Losmandy Titan mount under a 2.7m pulsar dome.

Olivier Thizy
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