What type of equipment would I need to construct a transit light curve of a planet. It doesn't have to be an exoplanet. If somebody could chuck a list that would be really helpful.


1 Answer 1


Basically you need to have the following equipment list

1.- A mechanical system track objects: you can build with 3d printer like:this prototype and/or python tracking mechanical controller

2.- A cmos/ccd sensor camera with over exposed function and color filters ,like this usb computer or use dslr camera telescope or like

3.- Automatic comparative histogram (Software), you can use python OpenCV enter link description here

I hope this links can help you, basically you need compare all histograms of same object

  • $\begingroup$ I'd voted to close this question as duplicate of Are there home-brew photometers for amateur observing of variable stars and are they widely used? and added a bounty on that one to encourage answers. The targets are different but the amateur photometry setup issues will be very similar. There's one answer there already but I think that this is so helpful that it could also be posted there as well. Thanks! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 0:03
  • $\begingroup$ I'd written this answer and mentioned a Raspberry Pi + photodiode-based photometer to measure transients rather than absolute brightness. The OP says "construct a transit light curve of a planet. It doesn't have to be an exoplanet." and so the light curve of say Mars or Venus over one synodic period seems to be fair game, as does the beginning and ending transient of a transit across our Sun (for Venus at least). $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 0:10
  • $\begingroup$ @uhoh A single photo diode will not cut the trick, thus that answer does not apply. You cannot reconstruct a stellar light curve without reference stars due to the changing atmospheric influence which you will have to correct for - and which you can only correct for by using reference stars. Transients will possibly measure more atmospheric influence and its changing conditions than influence of an exoplanet. Your linked answer is only valid for the sun and possibly moon, thus MUCH brighter objects than stars - or you construct an array of photodiodes placed in the focal plane at the... $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ ... position of stars. But then you re-invented something similar to a CCD. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ @planetmaker if the transit is across the face of the Sun then you certainly can! "It doesn't have to be an exoplanet." and if you want to construct the light curve of a planet not in transit, say over one synodic period, you can do that too. I notice that sometimes your comments feel like (to me at least) that they explain things as if others don't know what they are talking about. I think I have a good grasp on the topics I've mentioned and the statements I've made as written are pretty much correct; give them a careful, thorough re-read and see if you still see anything wrong as written. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Mar 27, 2021 at 1:28

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .