Our Assistant Director, Aaron Price, has had a heck of a year!
Early in 2010, he was made Assistant Director of the AAVSO. Later that year we celebrated his defending his Ph.D. But something more unusual, at least for an AAVSO staffer, was on the horizon.
It would seem to an outside observer, perhaps, that AAVSO staffers are more committed to their work than most. While most of us (but not all) are married, the vast majority of us have no children now. With the single exception of Gloria, those that do have children have grown children. Continue Reading
We received some sad news at the AAVSO ten days ago regarding one of the participants in the AAVSO's project to digitize data from the Harvard Annals. Daniel Rupp wrote me to let me know that his son, Andrew Rupp, passed away on January 7, 2011. Along with this news, Mr. Rupp passed along the spreadsheets that Andrew had in progress. All told, Andrew digitized more than 2700 observations for 10 different Mira variables, extending our light curves for these stars backwards in time by nearly eleven years. Continue Reading
There is a large radio tower a few hundred feet southeast from the current AAVSO HQ. It is the transmitter for a local AM oldies radio station. Interestingly, it is in the middle of/on top of a self-storage facility. It is literally across the street from the previous AAVSO HQ on Birch St. The radio tower has been the source of both entertainment and frustration for staff over the years - sometimes both at the same time. Continue Reading
Saturday, 4 December, saw the AAVSO host part of the Boston meeting of the International Occultation Timing Association. What began as a meeting where I'd set up the projector for folks to use the next day grew into a meeting that included video, audio, and collaborative internet transmissions to 35 people at one point around the world, including a presentation from an IOTA member in Australia! Continue Reading
A couple of days ago our Administrative Assistant, Ginny, sent an email to everyone here at HQ commenting on the Holiday Cards that the AAVSO Staff has been sent this year. She mentioned that they were displayed near her desk on the first floor.
This is one of the nice things, in my mind, in working in a small office, particularly AAVSO HQ. In my last job in central NY I worked for a company that ballooned in a couple of years from 225-400 people. We got Holiday cards, sure, but most of them were sent to the company President. Here at the AAVSO, the cards we get are for the staff as a whole, and being included in that is a nice feeling. Continue Reading
It's been another year of incredible activity from the charts and sequences team. Together they have revised or created hundreds of new sequences for AAVSO charts in the past twelve months. I can't tell you enough about how much work these guys do for the AAVSO. I can tell you a little about who they are. Continue Reading
The AAVSO has been on the commercial Internet, well, since before there was a commercial Internet. One of the very first projects I did here at the AAVSO, a full year before I started on staff, was to scan in and index the Alert Notices to the ADS. Those were fascinating because you could watch some AAVSO infrastructure changes take place as you read them, like the migration of our network access from a NASA-based address, to BITNet (anyone remember BITNet?) to the address we have now.
We've got some good news from Dr. Keith Noll of the Hubble Heritage Project this week. STScI have been following the AAVSO observations of M31_V1 very closely for the past several months, and they have now tentatively scheduled their sequence of observations based on the AAVSO-derived ephemeris!
HST will be observing M31 on December 16-17, 20-21, and 29-30, and then on January 6-7. It is believed the Hubble Heritage press release will then be some time in February or March of 2011. Continue Reading
Yesterday was the day of an AAVSO Mailing. First, let me explain, the AAVSO does not use a big warehouse-type mailing service when we have a meeting notice or holiday card to mail out - we do it "old school," around the conference table, by hand. Continue Reading