Timing Astronomical Events Using CHDK

Occultations and transits are the two events popular in amateur astronomy that would benefit from timed observations. While it is possible to observe such occurrences by timing the start and the end of the event using a simple stopwatch, a better and certainly more accurate alternative would be to use a camera with a timer to time such events.

2ndcontact_venustransit
A timing observation for the 2012 Transit of Venus

Fortunately, a simple setup for timing occultations and transits may be assembled using a telescope, an external video recorder, and a “hacked” point-and-shoot camera using CHDK, a free software that can greatly enhance the capabilities of a number of Canon PowerShot cameras.

To learn more on how an ordinary camera may be used as a timing equipment, click here.

© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

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