Belgium Observatory is a privately owned
astronomical observatory, located in Landen,
Belgium, and operated by Tonny
Vanmunster. My mission is to make
high-accuracy photometric CCD studies, primarily of variable
observatory is the Belgian node of the Center
for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA), a worldwide
network of professional and amateur astronomers to
Variables. Next to my CBA activities, I
actively participate in cataclysmic variable star
observing campaigns of other organisations (a/o AAVSO).
also contribute exoplanet observations to
and occasionally cooperate with other amateur and professional
astronomers in studies of Delta Scuti stars and
CBA Belgium Observatory is located in Flanders, Belgium. It is a remotely
controlled observatory, that can be operated autonomously all night long. The only human interaction required is for opening and closing of the
observatory, and initialisation of the telescopes, CCD cameras and computers. The
building has a roll-off roof structure, and is measuring 3m by 4m. More
CBA Belgium Observatory hosts
two 0.35-m f/6.3 Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain telescopes for CCD photometry.
A first telescope is mounted on an AstroTechniek
FM-98 German equatorial mount, and is equipped with a SBIG ST-7XME CCD camera (Kodak
KAF-0400 CCD for imaging and Texas Instruments TC211 CCD for guiding). The
telescope drive unit is an FS2 system from Astro-Electronic.
The second telescope is
mounted on an Astro-Physics
AP1200 GTO German equatorial mount, and is equipped with a SBIG ST-7XME CCD
camera with filter wheel. An electro-mechanical, height-adjustable Pier-Tech
PT2 telescope pier supports the second
Both telescopes use an
Optec TCF-S unit for temperature
controlled focus adjustment and remote focus operations.
observatory furthermore houses laptop computers to control the telescopes and
The observatory computers are coupled through a
wireless network connection with a
desktop computer, located in the house of the observatory owner. The desktop
computer allows full remote control and does
instantaneous photometry reduction of acquired FITS images. More
Following software packages are
in use at CBA Belgium
camera control, telescope guiding and unfiltered photometric imaging are
all done using MaxIm DL/CCD (Cyanogen Productions
Inc.). Images are stored as FITS files.
is done using TheSky
Astronomy Software (Software Bisque)
all frames use 2 * 2 chip summation and are corrected for standard
debiasing and flat-fielding. They are reduced using the aperture photometry
function of MIRA or MaxIm DL/CCD.
the output files with differential magnitudes, produced by
the above photometry software, are
almost instantaneously post-processed using an Excel workbook AIP4Plot,
that has been developed by CBA member Lew Cook.
curve and period analysis of my variable star data
is done using Peranso,
a package written by myself.
software is used for astrometry calculations.
conditions are monitored through a special
software package, called StarMon, written
by myself. It generates an alarm sound if clouds
enter the observing field.
bundle of proprietary software modules written by
myself in VBScript and using the ASCOM
(Astronomers Common Object Model) standardization