While doing some database checking today, I got a very interesting figure: between November 28, 2011 and November 28, 2012 (today, as I write this), 1.8 million observations were submitted to the AAVSO. One point eight million. It's mind-boggling. Continue Reading
At the moment, I'm taking a short break from doing some programming and beta testing for our latest AAVSOnet telescope to come online, Bright Star Monitor - South. This is a twin of the Bright Star Monitor that ran in New Mexico for the past few years, but installed on the opposite side of the world. BSM-South is hosted by Peter Nelson (NLX) a few dozen miles east of Melbourne, Australia, and has been operating in a "hands-on" capacity for several months now. Continue Reading
The 101st Annual Meeting of the AAVSO was held last weekend in metro-Boston. Despite Sandy's best efforts, we only lost a handful of attendees to storm-related travel woes.
Several months ago I was invited by French AAVSO member, Laurent Corp, to give a talk for CAPAS 2012, a pro-am astronomy conference on double stars and variable stars in Rodez, France. I was happy to oblige and agreed to give a talk on 'Pulsating Stars in the AAVSO Program'. Neither the organizers or I could afford to fly me to France, so we agreed to do the presentation via Skype.
I sent them an advance copy of my PowerPoint which they translated into French. They would display the slides on two screens, one in English, the other in French, and on a third screen would be the live webcam shot of my cheery face, blown up to giant talking head dimensions. The early afternoon time slot I was assigned translated to 8:30AM local time on Saturday, September 29, the same day I was leaving to drive to Boston, via Buffalo, New York. Continue Reading
We are getting serious about installing telescopes at HQ. As a precursor to actual observing, we’ve installed a Moonglow Technologies all-sky camera, purchased through the generosity of CCD School attendees. Continue Reading
Wherever we travel, my husband and I like to squeeze in a visit to an observatory or visit another place of astronomical interest if we can. A recent trip to Los Angeles for a nephew's wedding was no exception. After all the festivities associated with the happy occasion were over we found ourselves with a rental car and an extra day on our hands - perfect!
Stellafane is an experience, especially for a newcomer. But, its an experience for someone returning after several years as well. Continue Reading
It’s 7:30 in the morning and I find myself standing in line to get breakfast in a school cafeteria, hoping I can eat and drink enough coffee to get me going before class begins at 9 o’clock. This is like being transported back in time to my college days in the 70’s! Is this a time warp or am I dreaming?
As the caffeine slowly lifts the haze it all becomes clear. I’m at Tufts University in Boston and today is the first day of the first AAVSO CCD Course. People have come from all over the globe to take part in this total immersion course that will run from Monday through Friday, 9AM to 5PM. Most of the participants have gathered in one corner of the cafeteria this first day and we’re making introductions and chatting excitedly over what everyone expects to be a fantastic learning experience. Continue Reading
The AAVSO forums have been around for some time now, but with the end of the email discussion lists, they have greatly increased in activity. The forums are organized, accessible to the public, and easy to moderate. But personally, I think the best thing about the forums is that they are a communal resource.