AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Orion Project: A Photometry and Spectroscopy Project for Small Observatories (Abstract)

Volume 42 number 2 (2014)

Jeffrey L. Hopkins


(Abstract only) Orion, the hunter, is one of the most famous constellations. Its declination is such that it is visible from most of the civilized world. In addition, most of the stars of Orion are very bright and interesting. Originally this project was called the Betelgeuse Campaign, but four more stars were added so the name was changed to the Orion Project. The project now includes Betelgeuse, Rigel, and the three stars of Orion’s belt, Mintaka, Alnilam, and Alnitak. Both photometry and spectroscopy provide data for the project. The project has several goals, the first of which is to help beginners with photometry and spectroscopy. The second goal is to obtain the actual observations and data. Because these stars are very bright, they are seldom observed in detail. Their brightness also poses a problem for most professional observatories. It is hoped that by having observations over a long time, interesting changes can be seen that will warrant closer investigation. As a third goal it is hoped that the procedures refined in the project for spectroscopic data may help promote a similar system for the AAVSO, which has an excellent archive of photometric data, but is still lacking a means of handling spectroscopic data.