CBA Belgium Observatory and CBA Extremadura Observatory are privately owned astronomical observatories, located resp. in Landen - Belgium and in Fregenal de la Sierra - Spain. Both are owned by Tonny Vanmunster. Their mission is to make high-accuracy photometric CCD studies of variable stars and transient events.
The observatories are nodes of the Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA), a worldwide pro-am network of professional and amateur astronomers to study cataclysmic variables, headed by Prof. Dr. Joe Patterson of Columbia University (NY). We also participate in cataclysmic variable star observing campaigns of other organisations, a/o the Japanese VSNET and the US AAVSO.
We furthermore contribute observations of high-amplitude Delta Scuti (HADS) stars to the Belgian Astronomical Association VVS. CBA Belgium Observatory and CBA Extremadura Observatory also participate to the HOYS-CAPSYoung Stellar Objects Project of Dr. Dirk Froebrich (Univ of Kent), doing multi-filter photometric monitoring of young nearby star clusters and star forming regions.
In addition, we perform photometric observations of white dwarfs with possible planetary debris, collaborating a/o with Prof. Boris Gaensicke (Univ of Warwick), of microlensing events, collaborating with Dr. Lukasz Wyrzykowski (Univ of Warsaw) and with Dr. Akihiko Fukui (Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, Japan). We are a member of the Red Dots #2 campaign, searching for terrestrial planets around the nearest red dwarfs. CBA Belgium Observatory saw first light in 1996, initially hosting a 0.25-m f/6.3 telescope in a roll-off roof structure building, operating semi-automatically. In 1999, the telescope was replaced by a 0.35-m f/6.3 telescope. A second similar telescope was added in 2004. In 2014, the observatory got completely rebuilt. It now has a 3-m Scopedome dome, a Meade 16” (0.40-m) f/10 ACF telescope on a Software Bisque Paramount ME II mount, using a motorized Moonlite CSL focuser. The CCD camera is a SBIG STT-3200ME. Weather conditions are monitored with an AAG CloudWatcher system.
CBA Extremadura Observatorysaw first light in May 2018, and hosts a 0.40m f/5.1 Newton telescope on an ASA DDM85 direct drive mount, with a Starlight Xpress SX46 CCD camera, using an Integra85 focuser and rotator. Similar to our Belgian observatory, it also is a fully robotic observatory, with a Talon6 controlled roll-off roof structure. The observatory is hosted in the e-EyE astronomical complex, which is the largest European facility renting astronomical observatories.
CBA Belgium & CBA Extremadura Observatories
In 2014, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) decided to name minor planet (340071) Tonnyvanmunster. The announcement text was:
(340071) Tonnyvanmunster = 2005 VF82 Discovered 2005 Nov. 9 by P. De Cat at Uccle Observatory, Belgium. Tonny Vanmunster (b. 1961) is a Belgian amateur astronomer, active in the Pro-Am collaborative research on photometric studies of cataclysmic variables, (co-)author of many papers on variable stars and author of Peranso, a widely used period-search software. Name suggested by P. Van Cauteren and P. Lampens.
I'm the author of the Peranso software. It offers a complete set of powerful light curve and period analysis functions to work with large, multi-night astronomical data sets, collected by a variety of observers.
It is equally performant for the individual observer, who is interested in analysing his observations of one or more nights.
Substantial attention has been given to ease-of-use and data accuracy, making Peranso the most productive period or time series analysis software on the market. Peranso lets you take control of your data analysis. Forget intimidating manuals and complex commands - powerful light curve and period analysis capabilities are now within your reach.
We are regularly invited to astronomical conferences and workshops to present our robotic observatories and our research projects. Below are some recent (and future) events we participated to, either as a speaker or as regular attendee. Some of our presentations are made online available (click the conference title).
• Belgian & Dutch Variable Stars Working Groups meeting Vinkel, The Netherlands. May 2018. Speaker.
• BAA AAVSO Variable Star Meeting Warwick, UK. July 2018. Regular attendee.