Observing and measuring double stars


I’ve started to observe visual binary stars in 2008. My initial motivation was to assess the optical quality of my instrument (by comparing theorical figures of diffraction to real ones). But, as I was searching for pairs with given separations and magnitudes, I realized that this domain of astronomy was far richer and dynamic than I've been thinking. The discover of the  Washington Double Star Catalog and the reading of Paul Couteau’s book « L’observation des Etoiles Doubles Visuelles »  finally convinced me to start working seriously on the subject. In 2009, I joined the Commission des Etoiles Doubles of the Société Astronomique de France and started to make measurements using an 8’’ telescope and a CCD camera. This initial work was rewarded and encouraged in 2011, when I received the Prix Georges Bidault de L’Isle from the Société Astronomique de France. Since then, I’m regularly making measurements, either from my home observatory or during  specific  missions at observatories offering access to amateurs, such as the 24’’ reflector at Pic du Midi, the 20’’ refractor at Nice or the 24’’ reflector at the Observatory of Saint-Véran. At this date I’ve made more than 3000 measurements on more than 2100 pairs. Most of these  measurements have been published either in Observations et Travaux (edited by SAF) or the Journal of Double Stars Observations, and integrated to Washington Double Star Catalog. I’ve discovered 118 new pairs  (STJ 1 - STJ 118), most of them with a separation under 1.5’’.