The Pierce-Blitzstein Photometer

  • Carol W. Ambruster
  • Anthony B. Hull
  • Robert H. Koch
  • Richard J. Mitchell
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 373)


The origin of the Pierce-Blitzstein Pulse-Counting Photometer System is traced to the collaboration of Newton L. Pierce and William Blitzstein beginning in the mid-1940s. The conception and architecture of the system was visionary for its time. Optimized for productive variable-star photometry in problematical skies, it was an automated, simultaneous 2-channel, pulse-counting photometer, a thought-out system from the start. Both published work and unpublished paper and disk documentation exist to define the development of this instrument’s hardware and software with almost no gaps in knowledge. Systematic limitations enforced by the instrument’s design and its location in its dedicated observing room are described. The observational productivity of the system is traced together with an appreciation of observing errors.


Fatigue Quartz Attenuation Transportation Expense 
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We are happy to acknowledge the assistance of Sybil Csigi, Greg Shelton, Librarian of the USNO, and Bruce Holenstein of Gravic, Inc.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol W. Ambruster
    • 1
  • Anthony B. Hull
  • Robert H. Koch
  • Richard J. Mitchell
  1. 1.Department of Astronomy and AstrophysicsVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

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