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Getting Started with Data Analysis

One of the things that makes AAVSO citizen science projects unique is that the data analysis stage is also open to anyone. AAVSO members and observers aren't asked to simply to collect data for scientists to analyse, but they can do some analysis themselves. This includes steps such as identifying a project/problem/goal, collecting data, performing quality control procedures on it, analysing it and communicating results to others.

The main links in the Analyze Data sections are:

5-Star Analysis Tutorial

The 5-Star Analysis Tutorial  (originally written by Aaron Price as part of the Citizen Sky Project, but re-written by Paul York in June 2014) is meant to introduce you to basic ways of data processing and inspection. It does not assume a background in astrophysics, statistics or anything similar. However, all good researchers need to understand what their data actually mean.


What is VStar?

The AAVSO Research Portal

Welcome to the AAVSO's Research Portal.  From this page, you can find information about obtaining AAVSO data, requesting new observations, or learning more about the AAVSO, its data, and its services for the research community.  Its purpose is to facilitate your use of the AAVSO's resources in your research efforts.

See the blue boxes on the right hand side of this page to access the AAVSO data archives or to find out  how to work with the AAVSO to obtain new scientific data.


Through a Picket Fence - Overview of aliasing in data analysis


Grant Foster has written a new blog post titled "Through a Picket Fence". It describes the effect of aliasing when analyzing variable star data. It's written at an introductory level appropriate for those new to data analysis, but with brief references to the math more advanced people may find interesting. The post is at the URL below.

Bibliography: visual magnitude estimates and photometry

A number of papers have been written discussing visual magnitude estimates in comparison to photometry.  Multiple studies have shown that visual magnitude estimates compare very favorably with instrumental photometry in terms of sensitivity and consistency.  As with all data, care must be taken to understand what visual magnitude estimates represent, what their bandpass is, and when their use is appropriate.

Time Series Tutorial

Time-Series Analysis of Astronomical Data
by Dr. Matthew Templeton, AAVSO
(Copyright 2003, AAVSO. All rights reserved.)

The full version of this paper appears in the Journal of the AAVSO, volume 32, number 1, page 41.

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