As replacement for the Bowers Beetle CCD camera, I have just taken delivery of a new CMOS camera.  It is a QHY183M, a 20 megapixel CMOS camera. It is currently on my desk being tested.  I don’t know how a CMOS sensor will perform in high precision photometry so this testing will be more detailed than usual.  In particular I want to understand a type of noise that CCDs don’t have – RTS (Random Telegraph Signal) and if necessary develop a way to fix the problem. These tests are described on my new CMOS photometry pages.  Have started, but more testing to come…  Read More →

50 planet discoveries, that is.  The 50th, TOI-564b was announced on arxiv today, a nice Xmas present. A hot Jupiter in a grazing orbit, this discovery makes a nod to the past, and points to the future. The past, because the first exoplanet found, in 1995, was a hot Jupiter.  The future because this one was found by TESS, which is likely to dominate discoveries for years to come. As is customary, milestones are occasions for reflection.  Back in Oct 2010 PEST was just a plywood shell, and planet discovery was just a dream.   Now, the list of PEST co-discoveries includes a diversity ofRead More →