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A big hello to everyone. It's been fun reading the posts. At the time I made my last variable star observation, the internet did not exist. I think Janet Mattie(sp) was the director then. I'm hoping to be put in touch with anyone who might have a collection of Variable Views. This was a small, unofficial publication that Carolyn Hurless made up at home from contributions of AAVSO members. (Carolyn was 2nd vice president at the time I moved on, I do believe). My interest is in getting a copy of a cover I did for the publication, if it still exists out there. Thanks in advance for any info. In looking at the site I can see that the internet/computer has certainly changed the way that the AAVSO does business. It appears that all the tedious work in generating light curves for publication has all but disappeared. Very cool. Glenn Chrstensen (CST) P.S. Is Paul Sventek still around here anywhere? Tommy Cragg?

Matthew Templeton
Variable Views

Hello Glenn,

Welcome back to the AAVSO!

I will check with Mike Saladyga when he comes in this morning to see if we have copies of Variable Views.  They're not in our main library, but they may be in the Hurless collection of the archives.

I'm sorry to say Tom Cragg passed away in 2011.  Paul Sventek has not been an active observer in nearly 20 years, so I'm afraid I can't tell you what his status is -- perhaps other observers might've kept in touch.

Best wishes from headquarters,


weo's picture
Paul Sventek inquiry

Hi Glenn,

As Matt already said, welcome back to the AAVSO! Yes, we have evolved tremendously in our communication and data-handling resources - a long way from the hand-plotted light curves and IBM keypunch machines of your earlier observing days with the AAVSO :)   I'm sorry to tell you that Paul Sventek died quite a number of years ago. I'm not in the office right now to check our files but it was at least 15 years ago.  Re Tom Cragg, there is a memorial posting about him at .

Enjoy looking around the AAVSO website - I think you'll be excited at what you see. We look forward to receiving your observations again!

Best wishes for good observing,

Elizabeth Waagen, Senior Technical Assistant


Paul had to be pretty young yet. So sorry to hear about him and Tom. At 74 I know the horror of growing old is watching your world slowly disappear....

Many thanks for the replies. I am in contact with Mike, who says they have an almost complete collection of VVs.

Observing again isn't in the cards, most likely, but I admit there is a certain urge. (grin) I moved to the Oregon coast on retirement from the Air Force, and the weather is the pits for telescope work. The humid air ate the silver off my reflector mirror in short order. Then I went back to school and was studying programming when the first PC s came out. I went totally bananas over these machines, and it's what I've been doing in my spare time ever since.

Thanks again, everyone. And as we used to sign off in our snail mails ...

Good seeing,


Glenn Christensen (cst)



KTC's picture
Observing can be in the cards

Observing *can* be in the cards.   Submit an observing proposal.

...was studying programming when the first PC s came out. I went totally bananas over these machines, and it's what I've been doing in my spare time ever since.

Yes, it's all computerized.  Your images will be calibrated and provided to your VPHOT account

Log in, choose comp stars with a mouse click or two...analyze your targets...a few more mouse clicks and data is submitted to the AAVSO database...and you never have to leave the soggy Northwest.

Oregon coast?  If you are into telescope making, check out:

Good luck!

CTX's picture
Oregon Coast

Glenn Christensen

I also live on the Oregon coast but am just a kid at 71 compared to you.

I live in Arch Cape (~7 miles south of Cannon Beach & ~ 16 miles south of Seaside) and only about 125 yards form the Pacific.  My observatory has been active at this location since 2003.

The best technique I have discovered to project my scope from the salt air is to keep it covered with a scope "bag" that I tie around the pier and then I also have a 75/100 watt light bulb within the bag (hung off the scope balance bar) for it's heat value in displacing moisture. 

I would be happy to work with you (or anyone else for that matter) and answer any questions you might have, especially about making VS observations from the coast. Please keep in mind that there is no such thing as a dumb question (FYI, I am also a member of the AAVSO mentoring team).

Please check out my website:

My direct email and the best way to communicate (feel free to include you phone number when you reply):

Ad Astra & Good Observing

Tim Crawford, CTX


Yo, Tim. Thanks for the info.

Yo, Tim. Thanks for the info. I was thru your area a few times while I was stationed at Mt. Hebo in the 50s and 70s. (Near Tillamook).

No plans to get back at the telescope soon. The place where I once intended to build a little roof-roll-off observatory is now surrounded by tall trees. Haha.

If my memory serves, I think we had 400+ active observers in my day. How many at it now?

Good Seeing.


Glenn CST

I do admit to slobbering a little when I look at the ads for these computerized telescopes of today. (grin)

KTC's picture
Stop drooling. Use AAVSONet scopes

Stop drooling over computerized telescopes that you can't afford, and would not be very productive in your cloudy, maritime environment.

AAVSONet telescopes are computerized, and run all night while you sleep peacefully.  You will awake to calibrated images in your VPHOT account.  It's like the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy combined.  What's not to like?

Stop drooling.  Submit an observing proposal today!

weo's picture
Paul Sventek inquiry

Hi Glenn,

You will be happy to hear (as I was!) that Paul Sventek is alive and well :)

Clearly we had the wrong information at AAVSO Headquarters - as near as I can figure, we had mail returned marked 'deceased' back in 1998. Tom Williams notified me that Paul is indeed alive, and so I happily retract my earlier message.

Best wishes and good observing,


Well, two great news items in

Well, two great news items in one day! I got a copy of the cover from Mike also.


Many thanks, everyone.


Glenn Christensen CST

lmk's picture
Visual with a Dob

Well, AAVSONet is one way to go, if you don't mind being quite limited in observing times, competition with other observers/projects and always getting "approval".

May I suggest getting a mid-size Dobsonian telescope, say around 12" or so. Such can be obtained in used condition on Cloudy Nights, Astromart for just a few hundred bucks. It'll get you going visually right away. A lot of stars will be within your range.

Then, you can slowly upgrade that scope as time and funds permit - better eyepieces/optics, tracking platforms, goto, etc.

It will be a lot more fun than sitting at your computer for "observing" ;)

Mike LMK

KTC's picture
AAVSONet - FREE to members!

May I suggest getting a mid-size Dobsonian telescope, say around 12" or so. Such can be obtained in used condition on Cloudy Nights, Astromart for just a few hundred bucks.

AAVSONet is a free benefit to members.

No need to purchase a telescope.  No need to purchase additional eyepieces, observing chair/ladder, or any other accessories.

Submit an observing proposal today.

roe's picture
KTC wrote:  "AAVSONet is a

KTC wrote:  "AAVSONet is a free benefit to members."

I'm still trying to figure out which members benefit from AAVSONet.  I understand that a small number of members have had observing projects served by AAVSONet but it is far from clear to me that the vast majority of members will ever benefit from it .  I've heard fuzzy claims that "science" benefits every time a variable star measurement is made - something like angels getting their wings when a bell rings? - and the AAVSO members benefit when science is served, but that sounds weak.

It has been hard (at least for me) to find out information about AAVSONet.  There is a link on the main page of the AAVSO web site that leads to a rather dry description of telescopes and locations and further links that don't go very far and appear to be dated (the link to previous observing runs indicates the latest run to be initiated was in May of 2009 ).  There is mention of a "Time Allocation Committee."  Who are these people?  Do they have a separate page/blog wherein they report their activities, assess the projects they approved, etc?

Looking at the (dated?) list of projects I see several "one-off" projects such as nova field calibration that kinda make sense to me as an AAVSO activity.  I came across a reference somewhere that a high school science fair project had been served and I applaud that.  But I have to wonder if most of those continuing monitoring projects couldn't be better handled by another approach?  Maybe there are scientifically urgent projects that can't (or aren't) being served by the Alert system and observations by regular members with their own resources?  That would seem to indicate the Alert system should be refined.

I guess my bottom line is, I can't find a "management plan" for AAVSONet.  We kinda know what it is, but we don't know why nor where it it going or how it can be utilized.  I can think of things I would like to see, but will wait to hear what (if anything) is already in place and/or comments from others.

SXN's picture
Questions about AAVSOnet

I will take a stab at answering your questions, Jim. But I am going to move the discussion where it should have been placed, into the AAVSOnet forum. Please try to post questions in the appropriate forums. 

I wanted to respond earlier, but this popped up while I was away from home working at HQ to assist Arne in preparation of the CCD Course held first week of August. Trying to find your message, 12 days later, under a request for information about long ago members was a real test.

Back, after finally resetting

Back, after finally resetting my password. Years of telling people to note their passwords (I have a notebook just for that purpose), and on finding I couldn't get in checked it. It wasn't in there! (grin). Egg on my face.


I'm down here in Coos Bay. And thanks for the info.


I found my old AAVSO scrapbook in storage. Not sure there is anything in there that the AAVSO archievers would be interested in, but I am thinking about doing some scanning and setting up a web page with the stuff. I thought first I best check with a moderator and see if it's legal to post a link to it here if I do so? Thanks in advance for any info.

Read the rules and guidelines for the forums.

Is there any place/way to set the latest replies to the top? IMHO forums work better that way. (After 3-4 messages I'm griping already - grin).

Good seeing



LaurenRosenbaum's picture
Hi Glenn, If you do scan

Hi Glenn,

If you do scan your scrapbook pages, it would be great if you posted a link here on the forums!  Advertising links require advance approval, but AAVSO pictures and other links directly related to the organization or variable stars are more than welcome.

We currently don't have a function for reorganizing the way the forums are laid out. It's a function available on many other forums, so maybe in the future we'll be able to implement it!

-Lauren Rosenbaum, AAVSO Administrative Assistant


Many thanks, Lauren.

Yeah, I'll do that. This stuff isn't in the greatest condition, but something might interest someone - at least those who were observing in the 70s.

I'll start it, then post a link here every time I add to it. Might as well drag it out. (grin)

Good seeing.



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