June Monthly Meeting – Observing Exoplanet Transits by Chris Stockdale
Our meetings include brief business, a main presentation and items of astronomical news or learning from members.
The June Main Item will be: Observing Exoplanet Transits by Chris Stockdale.
The June 2023 meeting is planned to be a face-to-face meeting; attendees can also join in online via Zoom. Details emailed to members. Guests/visitors can contact us for Zoom details at .
Visitors are welcome to join our face-to-face or online meetings.
Chris will discuss his observational work that he undertook as member of the follow-up observational groups for the Kilo-degree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) and The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). KELT utilised small telescopes to survey the night sky and paved the way for TESS. TESS was launched in 2018 and to-date has catalogued over 5586 new planet candidates. In a huge international effort, over 560 members of the TESS Follow-up Observing Program (TFOP) Working Group, image, process, and report their findings. As well as some background information on KELT, KELT-FUN, the TESS satellite and TFOP, Chris will discuss how he, like many other amateur astronomers around the globe, is able to contribute to Exoplanet science through this group. He’ll show how he undertakes the analysis and how he is able to contribute to the TFOP Science Group 1. He’ll also briefly cover some of the key scientific results that have come from TESS, including fields other than exoplanetary science.
Chris Stockdale is an IT Systems Specialist who has been interested in astronomy since before the Apollo Moon landings. Chris joined the Latrobe Valley Astronomical Society in Gippsland in 1971, and has held various positions within the club, including several terms of President. His interest in astronomy intensified during 1985 with the arrival of Halley’s Comet and he purchased what he regarded as his first decent telescope, a C8, in 1985. In 1992 Chris built his first observatory: a manually operated dome with a massive push-to mount that held his C8 and C11. Between 2004 and 2016 Chris precisely timed Jovian satellite eclipses to help improve the ephemerides of these worlds. These timings contributed to refining the satellite positions, reducing the error from hundreds of km to less than 20km, or only 4 milli arcsecond at the distance of Jupiter from Earth.
Exoplanet GL15AcIn 2013, Chris upgraded and automated his observatory, installing a Sirius dome, Astrophysics AP1200 mount and Planewave CDK12.5 telescope. In 2014 he became a member of KELT-FUN, the Kilo-degree Extremely Little Telescope Follow-up Network, snagging his first real transit in March of that year. He is a co-author to 16 KELT planet discovery papers. With the impending launch of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite in 2018, Chris joined the TESS Follow-up Observing Program Science Group 1 in March of that year. Since then Chris has observed over 300 planet candidates and is a co-author to over 24 TESS exoplanet discovery papers.
- July Monthly meeting – 2023 total solar eclipse and future eclipses by Terry Cuttle
- 01 Jul 2023
- 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm