Looks like the Stardial group has called it quits after collecting data since 1999. In a case of great timing, I finally have some solid results in the Scutum/Aquila region ...
Stardial is a nightly sky survey which photographs a strip of the sky from 0 to 8 degrees South. With a limiting magnitude of about 12.5, you can find all kinds of objects in these images, like variable stars, asteroids and comets. Here are some of the things I'm doing with this data:
While it's a great service, and the photo quality is fine, the charts they offer are useless. They're rotated wrong, have huge blobs for stars, and don't give a clue which parts of the charts line up with which images. One of my ongoing projects is to complete a set of charts that can be used with no fudging or guesswork -- a set of charts made by merging Stardial images and labeling them. It's in the works, but let's just call it the Photographic Atlas of the Stardial Sky.
Looking for asteroids & comets. While most of the undiscovered asteroids are way too faint (mag 15 to 20) to show up in Stardial images, you never know. I wish there were more surveys looking at more of the sky. Seems like the big telescopes are all pointed at such tiny regions, most of the sky is unphotographed on a given night. I've spotted some bright asteroids. My gallery is just getting started.
Identify as many variables as I can using
Stardial photos. The archive is ideal for this. I can merge images a few days
apart, or compare a stack of 1996 images against those from last night. It's
surprising how many stars have changed over the years! And many don't appear to
be listed in the variable star catalogs. Interesting! Of course, as they're
identified, they will be added to my Stardial Atlas.
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