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Nicholson, M. (2009). A Critique of a method for Identifying Common Proper-Motion Pairs. PHILICA.COM Observation number 55.

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A Critique of a method for Identifying Common Proper-Motion Pairs

Martin Nicholsonconfirmed user (Independent Researcher)

Published in astro.philica.com

The article “New Northern hemisphere common proper-motion pairs” by John Greaves was published by the Royal Astronomical Society in 2004 [1] and a brief review of binary and double stars plus an explanation of proper motion was written by Martin Nicholson in 2007 and updated in 2009 [2]

In the section on methodology Greaves writes, “… because the purpose was to find as many certain associations as possible, as opposed to any emphasis on quantity.” . While some of the filters he used in pursuit of this aim are reasonable enough it seems quite extraordinary that anybody would regard two stars with a 50% difference in the quoted values for proper motion in both declination and right ascension as showing common proper-motion. The problems caused by the use of this analytical technique were examined by Nicholson in 2009 [3].

In view of the strongly held views Greaves has expressed condemning authors who publish selected highlights of their work, with links to the remainder of the results stored on the publishers computer system [4], it seems strange that he has adopted exactly this methodology within this article!

In this article Greaves has briefly mentioned the relative brightness and colour of the common proper-motion pairs of stars he has identified. Unfortunately he has failed to explain fully the significance of the spectral type analysis or the difference in magnitude analysis he has undertaken and the problem is compounded by his failure to list the derived spectral types in the “representative” list presented in table 4.

[1] Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 355, 585-590 (2004)

[2] http://www.martin-nicholson.info/astroprojects/2c.htm

[3] http://www.martin-nicholson.info/astroprojects/3ca.htm

[4] Nicholson, M. (2009). A repudiation of the views on academic publication contained in vsnet-alert 11306. PHILICA.COM Article number 164.

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Nicholson, M. (2009). A Critique of a method for Identifying Common Proper-Motion Pairs. PHILICA.COM Observation number 55.

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