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new observers

Frequently Asked Questions from New Observers

Q- How do I get observer initials?

10-Star Training Tutorial

The 10-Star Training Tutorials are designed for novices who have no prior experience observing variable stars. It is a walk through of how to find the star, how to make an estimate and how to submit the estimate to the AAVSO. If you are new to the AAVSO then these are great tutorials to get you started.

Mentor Program

(If you are interested in volunteering as a mentor, please click here.)

Why should I have a mentor?

Julian Date (JD) Calculator and Calendars

JD Calculator


What is Julian Date?
Compute the JD or UT yourself

To convert from JD to calendar date enter the Julian Date below:

CCD Photometry Guide - English

The Guide is available in .pdf format. You have the option either to download the entire publication or individual chapters. The complete Guide is 82 pages long.

AAVSO Guide to CCD Photometry (Version 1.1) (3.5 MB)

10-Star Tutorial in Arabic

Thanks to volunteer Rani Ahmed, the 10-Star Training Tutorial is now available in Arabic!

We hope that new observers will find this tutorial very useful for learning how to make their first variable star estimates. Since no prior experience is required, the 10-Star Training Tutorials are also ideal for use in schools and clubs.

In addition to the English and Arabic versions, the 10-Star Training Tutorial is available in Polish, Turkish, and Chinese. There is also a Southern Hemisphere version available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.


AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484