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News and Announcements

02 December JAAVSO v39, n2, is published

The Journal of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (JAAVSO), Volume 39, Number 2, 2011, is now available for downloading and for hardcopy purchase.

30 November Solar Observer Celebrated in Local Paper

Solar observer Ernest Richardson was recently given the AAVSO Solar Award, which was covered in a story by the Thorne and District Gazette newspaper titled "Swinton starman receives top award ". Read the article here.

30 November New results on FS Aurigae

The paper "Optical and X-ray Variability of the Peculiar Cataclysmic Variable FS Aurigae with a Magnetic and Freely Precessing White Dwarf" by Vitaly Neustroev and collaborators is now available on  The paper was co-authored by several AAVSO observers, and involves data taken during the 2010-2011 observing campaign.

29 November Advancing Variable Star Astronomy available as a Kindle e-book


The Advancing Variable Star Astronomy book that chronicles the first 100 years of the AAVSO is now available as an Amazon Kindle e-book. Of course, hard copies are still available from the AAVSO for $80 (20% discount), while supplies last.

29 November RASC Publishes David Levy's Log Books Online

The RASC has just published a digital copy of David Levy's personal log books in PDF format:

22 November Meet Donna Young

Many of you already know Donna Young. She became affiliated with the AAVSO in the mid-1990's when she led the effort, and was the primary author, of Hands On Astrophysics (HOA). HOA was a variable star science education curriculum developed mainly for high school audiences (but is used by some college and advanced middle school classrooms).

20 November Chat Transcript w/AAVSO President Dr. Mario Motta

Update: The chat is over, but a transcript of the chat is available here.

17 November Charts and Sequences Update November 2011

 Dear AAVSO Observers,

09 November Please Take Our Demographic Survey

We are conducting a survey to learn more about the demographics of our members, observers and anyone affiliated with or interested in the AAVSO. Information may be used for purposes such as making strategic plans for the AAVSO, writing grant applications, planning observing campaigns, writing papers about our membership, etc.

Identifiable survey data will never be shared with anyone outside of the AAVSO.

07 November ArXiv Preprint: Multiwavelength Campaign of Observations of AE Aqr

Longtime friend of the AAVSO, Dr. Chris Mauche (Lawrence Livermore National Lab), has published a paper about AE Aqr in which he uses data from AAVSO observations. It was submitted for inclusion in the proceedings of the conference "The Golden Age of CVs and Related Objects".

The ArXiv link to the black/white paper is here.

But you can download the color paper directly here.

The abstract:

04 November New eJAAVSO preprint: Periodicity Analysis of the Semiregular Variable Star EV Aquarii, by E. Terziev, J. R. Percy, A. A. Henden

ej152: Periodicity Analysis of the Semiregular Variable Star
EV Aquarii

02 November Special Notice #262: Long-term monitoring of AGN targets extended

November 2, 2011:  The observing campaign described in AAVSO Alert Notice 443 (M. Templeton) has been extended through the end of November 2011. One of the original targets, NGC 6814, has been removed from the target list for the remainder of the campaign.

02 November Modern observations of Hubble's first-discovered Cepheid in M31

The paper "Modern observations of Hubble's first-discovered Cepheid in M31" has been accepted for publication to PASP, and is now available on

28 October AAVSO Newsletter 50 now online

AAVSO Newsletter 50, October 2011, is now online.

25 October Alert Notice 450: Request for observations of SDSS J080434.20+510349.2‭ ‬in support of HST observations

October 25‭, ‬2011: Dr‭. ‬Paula Szkody‭ (‬University of Washington‭) ‬has requested the help‭ ‬of AAVSO observers in monitoring the WZ Sge-type cataclysmic‭ ‬variable SDSS J080434.20+510349.2 (SDSS0804+51)‭ ‬in support of Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet‭ ‬spectroscopic observations scheduled for 20:52:40‭ - ‬23:32:35‭ ‬2011‭ ‬November 3‭ ‬UT‭ (‬the night of Wednesday‭, ‬November 2/3‭)‬ ‭(‬JD 2455869.36991-‭.‬48096‭). ‬Nightly observations are requested‭ ‬beginning immediately and continuing through November 30‭.

25 October Alert Notice 449: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

October 25, 2011

Event: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

24 October Reminder: Observing Challenges End Soon!

There are only two months left to get a certificate for achieving one of our centennial observing challenges!

21 October Special Notice #261: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

The short period cataclysmic variable BW Scl appears to be in outburst. The object was detected in outburst at m(vis)=9.6 by M. Linnolt on 2011 October 21.3146 (JD 2455855.8146), and confirmed by A. Plummer at m(vis)=9.4 on October 21.3424.  Observations of this object are encouraged.  The object has conflicting classifications in astronomical literature, but is probably a WZ Sge-type dwarf nova rather than a novalike variable.

BW Scl is located at the following (J2000) coordinates:

19 October AAVSO 100th Anniversary Commemorative Posters

By popular demand! A set of twenty pdf commemorative posters exhibited at AAVSO Headquarters is available for downloading from our ftp site.

The posters show portraits of the AAVSO's Directors, Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, Council members, and Staff from 1911 to 2011, and the top Visual, CCD, PEP, and Photographic/Photovisual observers.

Click on the links below to download each poster.

19 October Deep light curve of GRB 110918A

18 October Sky & Telescope to Celebrate Seventy Years!

It's not only the AAVSO that is celebrating milestones this month. Our close personal friends, Sky & Telescope magazine is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in its own style.

18 October Group Photo from the AAVSO's 100th Anniversary Meeting

Click on this link for a downloadable high-resolution group photo (1.7MB)

Click on this link for a downloadable KEY to the photo (877kb pdf)

      Downloadable key includes list of those who attended but were not present for the photo

09 October New HQ Officially Dedicated

The AAVSO's new headquarters was officially dedicated at a ceremony during the 100th Annual Meeting of the AAVSO, part of our 2011 centennial celebrations.

The event was broadcast live on U-Stream. A video archive is still available on their servers.

Sky & Telescope has a nice news article covering the dedication and events surrounding it.

29 September Charts and Sequences Update September 2011

The following stars (objects) have new or revised sequences as of September 29, 2011.

Please update your charts if you observe any of these objects.


26 September New eJAAVSO preprint: Recent Minima of 146 EB Stars by G. Samolyk

ej151: "Recent Minima of 146 Eclipsing Binary Stars" by G. Samolyk

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