Recursos Pro-Am


:: Definições de colaboração PRO-AM
:: Artigos recentes publicados
:: Lista de Projetos
:: Ligações externas


Definições de colaboração PRO-AM (inglês)


Definition of PRO-AM: CAPjournal (Pedro Russo)

While professional astronomers are lucky enough to make a career out of their passion, amateur astronomers enjoy observing the night sky purely for the pleasure of seeing distant celestial objects. But there are amateur astronomers who want to take their hobby further — and profes sional astronomers are now recognising how amateurs can help them with their research. This kind of cooperation between professional and amateur astronomers is referred to as a Pro-Am collaboration.

Good examples of Pro-Am projects are the long-term observational studies by amateurs that are too time-consuming for professional astronomers to even consider undertaking themselves. An alternative type of Pro-Am project involves amateurs working on their own initiative to make important observations and discoveries of, for example, supernovae, which are then followed up by professionals. For example, in 2009 and 2010, amateur astronomers were the first to spot impacts on Jupiter, with their observations then pursued using professional telescopes.

The sudden surge in Pro-Am collaborations is partly due to the affordability nowadays of cutting-edge equipment, like large (8-inch or more) telescopes and high-spec CCD cameras, which bring faint celestial objects firmly within the reach of amateurs.

Hopefully, in the future, the number of Pro-Am projects will continue to grow, as they are greatly beneficial to advancing our understanding of how the Universe works.

Text crowd-sourced with valuable inputs from Jean-Luc Dighaye (EurAstro) and Sarah Reed (ESO).


Definition of PRO-AM: Amateur professionalism

From the book “The Pro-Am Revolution” of Charles Leadbeater e Paul Miller, 2004

Pro-Am, amateurs who work to professional standards. The Pro-Ams are knowledgeable, educated, committed and networked, by new technology. The twentieth century was shaped by large hierarchical organisations with professionals at the top. Pro-Ams are creating new, distributed organisational models that will be innovative, adaptive and low-cost. An outstanding example of how Pro-Ams are transforming a field is astronomy.

Pro-Ams are not professionals. They do not see themselves that way. They do not earn more than 50 per cent of their income from their Pro-Am activities. They might be aspiring proto-professionals, semi-professionals or former-professionals, but they would not be regarded

as full professionals. Yet to call Pro-Ams amateurs is also misleading.

Pro-Ams force us to distinguish ‘serious’ leisure – which requires regular commitment, skills and effort – from ‘casual’ leisure, which is more occasional and opportunistic.

More information:


Artigos recentes publicados

(levantamento por João Fernandes)

 À frente de cada referência apresenta-se o nome do astrónomo amador envolvido. (João Gregório) (Rui Gonçalves) (Rui Gonçalves) (Rui Gonçalves) (Rui Gonçalves) (Rui Gonçalves) (Rui Gonçalves) (João Gregório) (João Gregório) (Rui Gonçalves) (Pedro Ré e muitos outros) (Rui Gonçalves) (José Ribeiro) (João Gregório) (José Ribeiro) (José Ribeiro) (João Gregório) (Rui Gonçalves) (João Gregório) (José Ribeiro) (José Ribeiro) (José Ribeiro)


Lista de Projetos

(levantamento por Pedro Russo e João Gregório)


  • YYGem

YY Gem is a pair of M dwarfs in a 19.5-hr orbit that transit each other. Their radii are inexplicably larger than model predictions, which is typical of M dwarfs. This discrepancy has been explained by invoking magnetic fields but observational support is lacking. During Jan 3-12, 2012, Dr. Hebb performed spectropolarimetric observations of YY Gem in order to determine the magnetic field strength and brightness distributions of both components. At Dr. Hebb's request I assembled a team of advanced amateurs and coordinated photometric monitoring during her 10-day professional observing dates. The amateur light curves are currently being used by Dr. Hebb to constrain solutions for brightness distribution on the stars (i.e., starspot maps). This web page is an archive of those amateur observations, as well as unrequested follow-on observations by amateurs whose curiosity was aroused by unexpected results from the scheduled observations.  


Contact: Bruce Gary, Hereford Arizona Observatory (HAO) E-mail:


  • GJ 2069A Photometry Observations



Contact: Bruce Gary, Hereford Arizona Observatory (HAO) E-mail:


  • Pro-Am White Dwarf Monitoring (PAWM)

A 1-month "pilot project" of observations of white dwarf (WD) stars in a search for exoplanet transits. The goal is to establish that such exoplanets exist, or that they don't exist at some level that can be useful in planning a comprehensive professional search for WD transits. Amateur telescopes are suitable for this project so it is anticipated that most observations will come from the community of amateurs with experience observing exoplanet transits (of main sequence stars). Any WD exoplanet in the habitable zone will orbit with a very short period (4 to 30 hours), will have very short transit lengths (a few minutes) and will produce very deep transits (complete eclipse possible for central crossing). Such transits would be easy for amateurs to detect for stars as bright as typical known transiting exoplanet stars, V-mag 10 - 13, but only a few WDs are this bright; the faintness of WDs, and the short transit times of exoplanets that are of interest, means that only advanced amateurs with prior experience in observing exoplanet transits are being recruited for this pilot study. This web page will be the home site for an archive of light curve submissions, and links will be included for web pages devoted to specific WDs when they have light curves. The 1-month observing period is tentatively set for September, 2011.



Contact: Bruce Gary, Hereford Arizona Observatory (HAO) E-mail:




  • Stellar tidal streams in spiral galaxies of the local volume: A pilot survey with modest aperture telescopes



Contact: David Martinez-Delgado ( Max Planck Institute for Astronomy) E-mail:

  • The Periastron Passage of the Colliding-Wind Binary WR 140

This campaign may be the first great ProAm international effort. It embodied professional and amateur astronomers of 8 nationalities, both European and American. All wavelengths were covered, from radio to X-rays. Besides the intense coverage of the WR140 system, other hot massive stars were measured, stars of the spectral types Be and Oe. Only nine of the last type are known. WR140 is a binary system composed by a Wolf-Rayet WC7 star and a massive main sequence O4-5 star. Its orbit is highly eccentric (>0.8), and its period is about 7.9 years. This periastron took place the 12th January 2009. The measurements aim the assessment of the stellar winds interactions before, during and after the periastron. The system belongs to a group of systems known as Wind Colliding Binary Systems.

Posters presented to the IAUs 272:

ADS entries:

Complete proceedings of this campaign:



Contact: José Ribeiro (


  • BRAMS, the Belgian RAdio Meteor Stations

BRAMS is a Belgian radio network observing meteors using forward-scattering technique. Two beacons emitting a circularly polarized pure sine wave toward the zenith act as the transmitters at frequencies of 49.97 and 49.99 MHz. The first one located in Dourbes (South of Belgium) emits a constant power of 150 Watts while the one located in Ypres (West of Belgium) emits a constant power of 50 Watts. The receiving network consists of about 25 stations run mainly by radio amateurs, including the network of the Belgian Association of Amateur Astronomers (VVS). One station in Humain (at 60 km from the beacon in Dourbes) hosts an interferometer. The main goals of BRAMS is to calculate meteoroid fluxes and to retrieve trajectories of meteors. BRAMS is currently in development and will be fully operational in the first months of 2011.


Contact: Hervé Lamy (

  • BeSS, the Be Star Spectra database, and the tool Arasbeam

This database, leaded by the Paris Observatory, is online since 2007, and is fed by professionals as well as amateur astronomers. It makes part of the European Virtual Observatory.

The tool ArasBeam is an online page that helps the Be observers to choose the most urgent objects to be observed, in order to maximize the coverage of Be stars.

Both items are the result of a seven-year ProAm effort.


BeSS site:

ArasBeam site:


  • The epsilon Aurigae eclipse campaign

The eps Aur system is composed by a F star and a body that eclipses this star for two years, every 27.1 years. The eclipsing body is not well known. In the middle eclipse, a brightening takes place, whose cause isn't yet well established. A ProAm effort is on the go, in spectroscopy, photometry and interferometry.

ADS entries:



Contact: Jeff Hopkins (


  • The ConVento Group

An international Pro-Am group dedicated to the physics of massive stars. The aim of the group is to organize long-term campaigns on photometry and spectroscopy, such as the one on WR140 (see above). The group is opened to all astronomers, amateur or professional, interested in massive stars.


Contact: Webmaster at the site.


  • Delta Scorpii periastron 2011

Delta Scorpii is a binary, probably multiple, system. Its orbit is extremely eccentric (e~0.94) and its period is 10.6y. During the last periastron one of the stars initiated a decretion disc becoming a Be star. The objectives of this campaign are:

-determination of the exact date of the periastron

-study the possible interactions due to the stars' proximity

-get a better knowledge of the companion star

The campaign was launched during the ProAm spectroscopic stage at the OHP in Aug, 2010. I used the synergies of my group ConVento (see above), to initiate a campaign for the spectroscopic coverage of delta Scorpii periastron at Tenerife. IAC assigned us a 10 day run at the IAC80 telescope, centred in the periastron most probable date, from 28th June to 7th July. The PI is Anatoly Miroshnichenko and will be present at the OT together with another 6 amateur and professional astronomers. Thanks to this, a more intensive coverage during the event will take place. Of course, all spectra presented at BeSS (see above) will be very important during the whole campaign, and del Sco must be observed as soon as possible in 2011. Photometry observations are needed as well.



Diary of the mission at Tenerife:

Contact: Anatoly Miroshnichenko (link in the site)


  • Beacon Data Processing System

The purpose of this site is to automatically support external beacon operators submissions of data as well as external operator/educator/public access to the archived beacon data of the following satellites: GeneSat, PharmaSat, O/OREOS, NanoSail-D

BPS Site:



  • Juno Mission Will Open Jupiter Up to the Public


NASA’s Juno spacecraft, which left Earth Aug. 5 to began its five-year, 1.7 billion-mile journey to Jupiter, will offer the public the opportunity to participate in the mission’s science endeavors,

said a researcher from the Planetary Science Institute.

"The JunoCam operations team will rely on the international community of amateur astronomers to supply up-to-date images of Jupiter’s ever-changing atmosphere to predict what atmospheric features will be in JunoCam’s images when they are acquired, she said.


“The first step is to engage the amateur astronomy community to supply us with their data and send us their pictures,” she said. “We will need to see what Jupiter is doing in 2016.”

More info:


Ligações externas

(levantamento por Pedro Russo)