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News and Announcements

23 February Visual Observing Manual in Persian

The Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars is now available in Persian (Farsi).

http://www.aavso.org/visual-observing-manual-persian

23 February Alert Notice 453: Monitoring of S Dor requested for multiwavelength campaign

February 23, 2012:  Dr. Noel Richardson, Georgia State University, has requested monitoring of the luminous blue variable (LBV) prototype S Doradus as part of a multiwavelength campaign he is coordinating to study the photosphere of this star. At present the observations planned include:

1. UV Spectroscopy from HST
2. Optical spectroscopy from CTIO and an amateur in Australia
3. Near-IR Spectroscopy from SOAR (pending approval)
4. Mid-IR photometry from Gemini (pending approval)

21 February 2013 Spring Meeting Site Proposals Wanted - Due March 1st!

The AAVSO is accepting proposals to host our 2013 "spring" meeting. Typically these meetings are held away from our HQ in Cambridge, MA sometime in the months of April-July. For the first time, we are experimenting with the process of accepting open suggestions and bids for the location of our next unplanned meeting (2012 will be in Big Bear, CA).

17 February A BVRcIc Survey of W Ursae Majoris Systems

http://www.boulder.swri.edu/~terrell/wuma_survey/

17 February H-R Diagram Education Materials

Our own Donna Young has created an educational activity about variable stars on the HR Diagram. The activity is designed for formal K-16 educators and includes a teacher's guide, background material, student activities and answer keys.

However, the activity is also a great learning tool for those new to variable stars. It will introduce many of the most important types of variable stars and describe how they are related to other types. The genius of HR Diagrams is how they place everything in context of the grand scheme of things.

13 February Solar Bulletin - Volume 68, Number 1

The January 2012 Solar Bulletin is now available.

08 February AAVSO CCD School

The AAVSO will be holding a week-long "CCD School" from July 30 through August 3, 2012.  The school will take place at Tufts University, located a couple of miles from AAVSO HQ.  The school is designed for those who have some experience with a CCD system, and who want to learn how to take professional-quality data.

08 February Alert Notice 452: Simultaneous observations of SU Aur and AB Aur requested for XMM-Newton

8 February 2012:  Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has requested bracketing and simultaneous observations in support of XMM-Newton x-ray observations of the classical T Tauri star SU Aur and the close-by Herbig Ae star AB Aur scheduled for February 15 - 17, 2012. The targets are too bright to use the XMM optical monitor for simultaneous monitoring, so your observing assistance is essential for correlation of the x-ray data.

07 February Accounting Clerk Wanted for p/t Position at AAVSO HQ

06 February Long-Term Optical and Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Monitoring of epsilon Aurigea During the 2009-11 Eclipse

http://www.citizensky.org/forum/long-term-optical-and-near-infrared-spectroscopic-monitoring-epsilon-aurigea-during-2009-11-ec

03 February AAVSO Newsletter 51 is now online

AAVSO Newsletter 51, January 2012, is now online.

http://www.aavso.org/aavso-newsletter

29 January Charts and Sequences Update January 2012

There are over 100 new and revised charts and sequences since the last update in November. Many of these are for stars in the newly formed YSO Section Program, southern stars with new photometry from APASS and campaign targets. The rest are revisions based on issues reported to CHET and requests for new sequences from our observers.

27 January Alert Notice 451: Monitoring of the Symbiotic Variable RT Cru Requested

January 27, 2012: The symbiotic variable RT Cru has brightened in hard x-rays. Dr. Jeno Sokoloski, Columbia University, has requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring RT Cru both now and in the future to see if it is doing anything unusual in the optical. The Swift/BAT hard X-ray light curve shows RT Cru has apparently been gradually brightening over the past few years.  

27 January William Tyler Olcott Mentioned in Norwich Bulletin

The Norwich Bulletin, of Norwich, Ct., published an article about AAVSO co-founder William Tyler Olcott in their blog focused on the history of the town.  It includes interesting tidbits about Mr. Olcott, references to the AAVSO and proposals for ways to commemorate him.

Click here to read the story.

25 January Join us for an online chat on Thursday Jan. 26

Various AAVSO staff will be in the AAVSO Chat Room on Thursday, January 26. Stop by to chat with other AAVSOers and staff.

Click here to join!

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.

http://www.aavso.org/visual-observing-manual-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

http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso

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.

http://www.aavso.org/apps/email/

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:

http://www.aavso.org/apps/email/

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