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New VSP upgrades

We recently released a significant update to the backend systems for the AAVSO website. While most of the bugs introduced by this update have been fixed, there may still be problems we haven't fixed. If you run into a problem, please email

We held another VSP workday this week and tackled a few VSP bugs and feature requests. Most of the changes are minor and I'll list them below. We did not get to everything on the list. Our next workday will probably be in a couple of months. Feel free to submit feature requests or bug reports to aavso at

As always, thanks to Michael Koppelman and Chris Watson for taking time out of their day to help us!

* The "Reset" button at the bottom of the UI now resets all of the form variables back to their default value. Previously, it reverted to the settings of the last chart you printed.

* The variable star designator cross hairs are darker.

* The letters in the chart IDs are now capitalized (to make them easier to read).

* Two changes to the format of the photometry table when plotted using the "printable" option: 
      - The header info (star name, field size, etc.) is now at the top instead of the bottom
      - A comment was added reminding people where they can find the source reference table

* A handful of bugs regarding using the chart<->photometry table links (as opposed to the GUI) have been fixed.

* You can now plot an object by its AUID.

* We discussed the option to plot VSX stars that do not have AUIDs and decided against it for a number of reasons. If you would like to do plot a object without an AUID, you can plot by its coordinates or request that we assign an AUID to the star.

* The maximum field size that can be plotted has been increased to 1200 arc minutes.

* The magnitude range now includes the bandpass of the magnitude (when that bandpass is also specified within VSX). So if the bandpass is in "B", a "B" will appear in the magnitude range. Ex: "Range: 9B - 13.1B" means it varies from 9 - 13.1 magnitudes in B. This is the same behavior as the old, hand drawn AAVSO charts.

* When using the GET method to plot a chart it was returning the chart in the text/html MIME type. That is now "image/png". This will help those using the API with their own software.

* The behavior of the tool used to plot a quick chart from the homepage has changed. Previously, it used values taken from the last time you plotted a chart on our site (making it inconsistent). It now always uses the same default values that are used in the GUI. This means you always get the same parameters (field size, limiting magnitude, etc.) when plotting from the home page.

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