The Pierce-Blitzstein Photometer

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

Abstract

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 Both published work and unpublished paper and disk documentation exist to define the development of this instrument’s hardware and software with almost no gaps in knowledge.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.

Keywords

Fatigue Quartz Attenuation Transportation Expense 

Notes

Acknowledgements

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

References

  1. Binnendijk, L. (1960). Astronomical Journal, 65, 84CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. Blitzstein, W. (1950). Astronomical Journal, 55, 165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blitzstein, W. (1954). Astronomical Journal, 59, 251CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. Blitzstein, W. (1953). In F. B. Wood (ed.), Astronomical Photoelectric Photometry, (Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science), p. 64Google Scholar
  5. Blitzstein, W. (1958). In F. B. Wood (ed.), The Present and Future of the Telescope of Moderate Size, (Philadelphia: U. Pennsylvania Press)Google Scholar
  6. Blitzstein, W. (1988). Vistas in Astronomy, 32, 181CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  7. Blitzstein, W., Fliegel, H. F., & Kondo, Y. (1970). Applied Optics, 9, 2539CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. Bouguer, M. P. (1729). Traité d’optique sur la gradation de la luminière, (Paris: C. Jombert)Google Scholar
  9. Hearnshaw, J. B. (1996). TheMeasurement of Starlight – Two Centuries of Astronomical Photometry. (Cambridge: The University Press)Google Scholar
  10. Herschel, J. F. W. (1847). Results of Astronomical Observations Made During the Years 1834, 5, 6, 7, 8 at the Cape of Good Hope, (London: Smith, Elder & Co.)Google Scholar
  11. Johnson, H. L. (1962). In W. A. Hiltner (ed.), Astronomical Techniques, (Chicago: U. Chicago Press), p. 174Google Scholar
  12. Kron, G. E. (1946). Astrophysical Journal, 103, 326CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  13. Levitt, I. M., & Blitzstein, W. (1947). The Pennsylvania Gazette, 46(2), 12Google Scholar
  14. Pickering, E. C. (1912). “Observations with the Meridian Photometer During the Years 1902 to 1906,” Annals of the Astronomical Observatory of Harvard College, 64, 1Google Scholar
  15. Pierce, N. L. (1947). Copris Pristinus, 22Google Scholar
  16. Wood, F. B. (1946). Copris Pristinus, 21, 1Google Scholar
  17. Wood, F. B. (1951). Copris Pristinus, 25Google Scholar
  18. Wood, F. B. (1952). Pennsylvania Gazette, 50(9), 14Google Scholar
  19. Wood, E. B., & Blitzstein, W. (1957). Astronomical Journal, 62, 165CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. Yates, G. G. (1948). Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 108, 476Google Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations