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Spots still open in next CHOICE course

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SXN's picture
Spots still open in next CHOICE course

There are still several spots open in the upcoming CHOICE course for visual observers. The class is called "Developing A Visual Observing Program" and it offers a chance for you to explore the reasons behind selecting specific targets to observe, based on your instrumentation, site conditions, science objectives, etc. If you are just starting out, this class could be the thing that helps you put it all together.

Even experienced observers have benefitted from taking the class, as it makes you evaluate the stars in your program and develop a list of variable stars that you can enjoy observing for years while making a contribution to science. Maybe it's time to whittle down your list of stars, or maybe it's time to stretch out and try some new things.

The thing that doesn't get advertised enough about this course is the fact it is a lot of _fun_. For four weeks you get to discuss visual observing and share your experiences as well as learn about your fellow AAVSO observers and their stories. It's like going to a star party or an AAVSO meeting without the time and expense of travel! Class begins Monday, August 20, so there is not much time left to register. Head on over to the AAVSO Store and sign up today!

Sebastian Otero
Sebastian Otero's picture

It sounds like a lot of fun, Mike! I'll be keeping an eye (directly and avertedly) on it!.


douglasfowler's picture
CHOICE course

Dear SXN,

I am signed up for the CHOICE course for visual observers. Is there any list available for the course materials or readings? I have been doing as much reading as I can in preparation - but I certainly would appreciate some advance suggestions. This is my first CHOICE course and I look forward to it.


Doug Fowler (FDU)

SXN's picture
Reading material

Hi Doug,

Once all the class has been signed into the forum, the reading material and manual will be distributed to the class. I wouldn't worry too much about advance preparation. Much of what you will find and learn about will be brought to the class by each of the participants as much as any outside resources.

The way this class is structured, there aren't a lot of absolute or "correct" answers. You have to find the answers for your program by getting to know yourself as well as the stars.  


douglasfowler's picture
CHOICE course, thanks!


Thanks. Sounds like advice I often give my students. I teach astronomy at the college level, both an introductory solar system/planetary class and an intro to stellar astronomy. I also teach astronomy labs. But I think it is always a good idea to be a student again. And, as Richard Feynman once said, there's always some new way to look at even the most basic material.

I have been slowly putting together my observing progarm with AAVSO, sometimes with a method, sometimes in a hit-or-miss way. I certainly could use the advice of more experienced observers.

One thing I'm getting out of this is much needed practice in finding my way around the sky in the old-fashioned manual way (star-hopping). I was pretty good in the past, but I've been out of practice lately - and this is a good skill to have with evening astronomy labs (and a fleet of telescopes).

I have already used some of the AAVSO data bases in my summer survey of astronomy class (in particular, light curves of Cephieds, W Vir stars and RR Lyr stars - as part of the classic distance hierarchy).

Thank again!

Doug Fowler

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