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News and Announcements

23 January Visual Observing Manual in Hungarian

Thanks to the hard work, dedication, and persistence(!) of AAVSO member/observer Péter Molnár and Dr. László Kiss, the January 2010 edition of the "Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars" is now available in Hungarian.

If you know of anyone who may benefit from this translation, please spread the word!

21 January Special Notice #264: SUPERNOVA 2012A IN NGC 3239 = PSN J10250739+1709146

January 21, 2012:  In IAU Central Bureau Electronic Telegram 2974 (Daniel W. E. Green, ed.), B. Moore, J. Newton, and T. Puckett report the discovery of an apparent supernova in the irregular galaxay NGC 3239 at unfiltered magnitude 14.6 taken with a 0.40-m reflector at Portal, AZ, on 2012 Jan. 7.3869 UT in the course of the Puckett Observatory Supernova Search. SN 2012A was confirmed by Puckett at magnitude 14.4 on Jan. 8.3352; nothing is visible down to magnitude 19.0 on his images from 2011 Dec. 29.

20 January New eJAAVSO preprint: "New Light Curve for the 1909 Outburst of RT Ser" by G, Luberda and W. Osborn

ej153: New Light Curve for the 1909 Outburst of RT Serpentis

18 January New Tool to Opt Out of E-Mails

Occasionally the AAVSO may send e-mail updates about organization activities to its members and observers. Example activities are the publication of our quarterly newsletter, meeting announcements, etc. On average these e-mails are sent about once every month or two.

We have a new way for you to opt out of receiving these e-mails. Simply visit the URL below and click the “Opt-Out” button.

16 January The American Meteor Society Also Celebrates 100 Years

The AAVSO is not the only citizen science organization that celebrated its 100th anniversary last year. The American Meteor Society also celebrated it's anniversary. As a token of friendship and appreciation, we sent a certificate mounted on a wooden plaque to Dr. Meisel, Executive Director the AMS. Below is a image of the certificate portion of the plaque. Click for a larger PDF version.

Congrats to the AMS!

16 January Solar Bulletin - Volume 67, No. 12

The December 2011 Solar Bulletin is now available.

11 January New Visual Observing Manual in Chinese

Thanks to the efforts of Cheng Simiao, a young and very enthusiastic observer from Beijing, we now have a new, more up-to-date Chinese version of the "Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars" available for download. He wishes that this edition be thought of as a 100th birthday present to the AAVSO as well as an 18th birthday gift to himself.

Congratulations and many thanks to Mr. Cheng!

29 December Light Curve Generator Upgrades

Some work has been done recently to the AAVSO's Light Curve Generator.

Three additional filters, the Tri-R, Tri-G, and Tri-B filters, primarily used in DSLR work, were added to the data that the Light Curve Generator can now display. This should be of great use to people monitoring bright variable stars with cameras, among others.

20 December The AAVSO Computer History Project

Welcome to the AAVSO Computer History Project


The purpose of this project is to document the history of the Information Technology Infrastructure of the AAVSO, how it came to be, what hardware was used, who were the people involved, and how the technology was used to further the mission of variable star observing and analysis.

20 December Data Usage Reports are available again

We are happy to announce that after a few months of testing, the AAVSO's Data Usage Reports are now available to all observers again.  You may subscribe to these weekly reports by visiting this page:

19 December 2012 JD Calendar

The 2012 JD Calendar is now available.

Just go to the JD Calendar page and scroll down to the bottom where you will be able to view or download the new calendar.

Happy observing!

16 December Solar Bulletin - Volume 67, No. 11

The November Solar Bulletin  is now available.

15 December Special Notice #263: SUPERNOVA 2011iy IN NGC 4984 = PSN J13085839-1531041

December 15, 2011:  IAU CBAT Central Bureau Electronic Telegram 2943 (Daniel W. E. Green, Ed.) announces the discovery of an apparent supernova in NGC 4984 by Koichi Itagaki, Yamagata, Japan, at unfiltered CCD magnitude 12.7 on 2011 Dec. 9.856 UT.

Coordinates: R.A. = 13 08 58.39  Decl. = -15 31 04.1 (2000.0)
SN 2011iy is 16.6" east and 6.1" south of the nucleus of NGC 4984.    

12 December Two AAVSO members team up to answer a young boy's dream

The News Sun in Sebring, FL. published an article titled "Opening the Universe" about AAVSO members Chris Stephan and Gordon Myers work to support an autistic student's love of astronomy. Read the full article at the URL below!

06 December New VSP upgrades

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!

05 December Shopping on

05 December Year End Giving

Tis the season
If you’re like many people, you do your major giving toward the end of the year. I think part of the reason is we get caught up in the spirit of the season. The shopping, planning and gift giving is all part of the fun. It feels good. Making a donation to your favorite non-profit organization feels good too.

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,

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