The AAVSO Solar section and AAVSO headquarters are hosting a special guest this week and next, Leif Svalgaard (at center in this photo) of Stanford University/Solar Dynamics Observatory. Leif is here to digitize sunspot records from the original notebooks of AAVSO member Herbert A. Luft (1908-1988), housed in the Thomas R. and Anna Fay Williams Archives. Continue Reading
Compared to the pace of even five years ago, the speed at which the charts and sequences team addresses new and revised sequences is simply astonishing. One of the important factors in this NASCAR paced activity is APASS, the all sky survey nearing completion. Every time a data release is made available the team re-examines its lists of requests and reports to see what else can be fixed or created anew in light of the latest photometric data available. Continue Reading
It is amazing what two-dozen people can get done in a weekend if they are organized, serious and willing to put in the time and effort to make the most of a two and a half day workshop. I opened up the Google Drive page containing all the final drafts of six chapters written at the workshop and edited during this past week and the material is shaping up into what I believe will be a very useful introduction and instruction manual for newcomers to DSLR photometry.
Today was the first full day of the AAVSO DSLR Manual Workshop. The goal is to write a user's guide for people interested in doing DSLR photometry. Most of the participants gathered Thursday night for a two hour meet and greet session at headquarters, but the workshop kicked off Friday morning at 9:00 AM.
One of the "knitting jobs" (as Dorrit Hoffleit used to call "spare time" tasks) I have taken on is to update and upgrade the page of meeting group photos. I'm rescanning some of the photos for better quality, adding missing items, and adding identification keys wherever possible. Some of the 1920s photos were published with keys in Popular Astronomy, and many of the photos made in the 1980s and 1990s were routinely distributed with keys, but many other years need closer attention, and I will be adding these from time to time, as time allows.
Friday, February 15th, will be the 14th anniversary of my first variable star estimate.
R Leo, 9.6, Feb 15, 1999
Over 82,000 observations later, I can still recall a lot of things about my first variable star observation. Continue Reading
In October, just before the 101st Annual Meeting, I was asked to take on a big project: finding every current AAVSO member who has been a member for at least 25 cumulative years. With huge changes in technology and the way this data was stored at HQ in the last 25 years, it ended up being an intricate, meticulous job. And because of the diverse group of members we have, it also uncovered some interesting pieces of information! Continue Reading
With the publication of JAAVSO 40.2, the epsilon Aurigae special issue, and JAAVSO 40.1, the 100th anniversary issue, the journal staff will now pause and catch their breath.
While Associate Editor Elizabeth Waagen and I were admiring the look and heft of the printed copies of these two volumes, EOW remarked that the total page count of 40.1 and 40.2 exceeds the number of pages in the first several volumes of JAAVSO. Continue Reading
What is it about a total solar eclipse that impels people to travel to all kinds of far-flung corners of the world just to enjoy a few minutes of basking in the shadow of the moon? Is it for science, an addiction, the excuse to travel, or just plain craziness? For me, the answer is all of the above! In any case, those are the reasons my husband John O’Neill (ONJ) and I made the long trek to Queensland, Australia last month.
There are many phenomena one can look for during a total solar eclipse besides the beautiful corona; the diamond ring, Baily’s beads, shadow bands, etc. etc. I would argue that another would be the associated human migration. As eclipse day draws near, people from all over the globe begin congregating in the approximately 100 mile (150 km) wide path of totality. Where the shadow passes over the sea, people take to ships in order to position themselves well. Some people travel on their own, others join groups, tours, or expeditions. Continue Reading
We are thrilled to annouce that Citizen Sky has a new permanent home at the AAVSO! Citizen Sky will be the hub of bright variable star activities at the AAVSO. Currently these activites include binocular observing and DSLR observing but we have ideas for even more programs/projects. Continue Reading