Resources for New Visual Observers
There is a lot of information on the AAVSO website, which is a good thing. But if you are new to the AAVSO or just starting out as a visual observer, finding what you need could appear daunting to anyone surfing our enourmous website for the first time.
So for convenience sake, here are some suggestions to get you started.
Ten Star Tutorial - This is a great place to start. It's a brief introduction to the methods involved in making visual variable star estimates and includes charts for observing ten bright stars you can observe with the naked eye or binoculars. There is an Eleven Star Tutorial for southern hemisphere observers also!
AAVSO Visual Observing Manual - This is the 'official' handbook for AAVSO visual observers. You can view it online or download it for FREE!
Stars Easy to Observe - Start here and save yourself some time. These stars have been selected as being easy to find, easy to recognize and have excellent charts.
Variable Star Charts - Here is where you find the charts with comparison star sequences. Download as many as you want, they're FREE!
The AAVSO Mentor Program - If you want a mentor to help get you started, members can request a mentor. (Due to the extensive time and effort extended to students by our volunteers, this is a member only benefit.)
There is an entire page called Online Resources for Beginning Observers that has these links and other helpful information all gathered in one place for one stop shopping!
I hope that helps. If you have questions, or can't find what you need, just ask. We'll be happy to assist you.