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NEW! The AAVSO Stellar News Feed

We are excited to announce a new feature on our home page, the Stellar News Feed. This is a dynamic list of links to articles and papers dealing with stellar astronomy, including variable stars, stellar evolution, stellar populations, gamma-ray bursts, supernovae, exoplanets, and recent discoveries in stellar astronomy and astrophysics.

Kepler planet-finding mission may be ending

NASA officials have announced that the spacecraft stabilizers on the Kepler satellite can no longer keep the spacecraft pointed accurately.  Plans are being developed to address the problems, but if they are unsuccessful, Kepler's extended mission to search for exoplanets may be ending.

For more information, see this article in SpaceflightNow.

Exoplanets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

 Variable Stars and the Stories They Tell:  

Exoplanets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

by Dale Bryant   

Alert Notice 462: Monitoring of J1407 for next extrasolar ring system transit

June 25, 2012: Dr. Eric Mamajek (Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory and University of Rochester) has requested AAVSO observers' assistance in monitoring the young star 1SWASP J140747.93-394542.6 to help determine the eclipse behavior related to a transiting ringed substellar companion.

This observing campaign begins now and continues until further notice. Dr. Mamajek writes:

Pro-Am White dwarf Monitoring (PAWM) Pilot Project

Bruce Gary has announced a one-month pilot project to evaluate the feasibility of observing exoplanet transits of white dwarfs. The advantage of looking at white dwarfs is that the eclipses will be deeper. The disadvantage is they will be very short (on the order of minutes). So there is considerable challenge here!

Click here for his web page describing the project.

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