A few weeks back, we had a more detailed look at the photometric calibration of our data. The plot above shows another example of a final calibration plot for one of the images. In this case it is an R-band image of the Pelican Nebula target field, taken with the University of Kent’s Beacon Observatory. In this post we will briefly discuss the importance of the calibration, and how you can help out with the project, even you are not able to contribute any images yourself.

The calibration process involves manual checking of the results and the correction of the range of magnitudes included in the final data for each image. This manual checking and verification is important for the quality of data included in our database, and thus available for analysis. In essence, because every data input into the database has hence been manually checked, we are able to completely trust all the data we use in the analysis.

However, as you can read in the description, the process requires a bit of time for each image. This is manageable for most participants, who send in a handful of images at each time, maybe every few days. But there are a few participants who spend a large amount of time on HOYS and have very favourable observing conditions. We will dedicate a separate post to these in the near future. Those people do submit a large number of images, almost every day. But they are hence not able to do all of the processing of the data themselves. For all of those, we are helping them out as much as we possibly can. This is, however, becoming more and more difficult to handle for just the core team of people, and we have build up a backlog of more than 1500 images to be processed.

While we are working in the background to improve the workflow and making the process less time consuming, the final manual check of the calibration will always be part of the quality control for the data. Thus, if you have some free time which you would like to contribute to HOYS, please get in touch and we will arrange for you to receive some training and the passwords to help out with the data processing for some of our large data contributors. Any such help will be much appreciated. Thank you very much!