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Paper: Astronomical Databases, Space Photometry, and Time Series Analysis: an Overview
Volume: 349, Astrophysics of Variable Stars
Page: 3
Authors: Samus, N.N.
Abstract: I present some remarks on the current state of astronomical databases, space photometry, and time series analysis from the point of view of an active user engaged in studies of variable stars. I discuss some positive and negative properties of the most important astronomical database, SIMBAD. Several databases, like ASAS-3 and NSVS, present catalogues of new variable-star discoveries in large-scale automatic surveys and thus supplement the General Catalogue of Variable Stars. They also permit a user to retrieve original observations for their catalogued and non-catalogued stars and open great possibilities for data mining. So far, the only sources of large volumes of uniform space-borne epoch photometry, with many observations per star, are the Hipparcos-mission catalogues, Hipparcos and Tycho. The photometric accuracy of Tycho data is insufficient for most problems of variable-star research. The Hipparcos photometric data are of a good quality, but I show that, in some instances, data obtained using ground-based instruments, even small ones, are not much worse. The analysis of astronomical time series, photometric and spectroscopic, encounters specific problems because of very uneven time distribution of measurements, so that extreme caution is needed when using uncertainty estimates of any period determinations.
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