The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) and the British Astronomical Association Variable Star Section (BAAVSS) are pleased to announce that the variable star observation archive of the BAAVSS is now available through the website of the AAVSO. The BAAVSS archives comprise over 2.5 million variable star observations made mostly by amateur astronomers world-wide over the past 150 years. These data now join the archives of the AAVSO in the AAVSO International Database, which consists of over 25 million variable star observations made by observe
The term "sunspot" appears in the news, often in connection with stories on aurorae, electrical outages, and problems with orbiting satellites. But often these stories don't really explain what sunspots are and why they're of interest to us on Earth. So what are sunspots?
The AAVSO's volunteer-driven project to digitize paper archives of variable star observations is moving forward, and there have been some exciting developments over the past few months that deserve to be mentioned. Here, I'll summarize some of the happenings in this project, and talk about some of the issues that have arisen at AAVSO and among the volunteers.
November 5, 2010: We have been informed by Tim Puckett and by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBET 2532, Daniel W. E. Green, Ed.) of the discovery of a bright possible supernova in UGC 5189A by J. Newton and Puckett, Portal, AZ, on November 3.52 UT at unfiltered magnitude 13.5. Confirming images (limiting magnitude 19.1) by Puckett on Nov. 4.50 UT showed the object at magnitude 12.9./p>
November 2, 2010: As reported by Tim Parson (Circle Pines, Minnesota, USA) and confirmed by Pavol Dubovsky (Kolonica, Slovakia), the infrequently-outbursting dwarf nova HT Cas is in outburst. Parson observed HT Cas in outburst at m(vis)=12.9 on JD 2455502.93 (2010 November 2.43), and the outburst was confirmed by Dubovsky at m(vis)=12.4 on JD 2455503.3 (2010 November 2.8). The last confirmed well-observed outburst of this star occurred on 2008 January 10. Observations of this variable are strongly encouraged at this time. Both visual and CCD observations are en
AAVSO staff members frequently give talks and present posters on the AAVSO, its activities and its mission. The list of presentations below is a partial compilation of talks and papers given by AAVSO staff over the past several years.