What We Do
The AAVSO coordinates, evaluates, compiles, processes, publishes, and disseminates variable star observations to the astronomical community throughout the world.
Observers send their data to Headquarters, where they are checked, processed, and added to the AAVSO International Database. The data are available through the AAVSO website. The AAVSO and its observers frequently provide the professional community with archival data, intensive monitoring of interesting variable stars, and target-of-opportunity event notification for coordinated observing campaigns and satellite observations.
AAVSO publications provide the astronomical community with valuable information. The type of published information is diverse, and includes The Journal of the AAVSO, a peer-reviewed collection of scientific papers focused on variable stars, the Manual for Visual Observing (available in fourteen languages), the Guide to CCD Photometry, the DSLR Observing Manual, the quarterly AAVSO Newsletter, the monthly AAVSO Communications, and the AAVSO Annual Report.
Additionally, the AAVSO is actively involved in education and outreach. We have several programs designed to assist with disseminating information to educators and the public.
We also maintain a very active set of moderated fora covering a range of topics for the use of members, observers, researchers and others interested in polite and constructive discussion.
The AAVSO has an active Mentor Program that is available to any observer requesting personal instruction in observing techniques and methods.
The Speakers Bureau is a service established for people and groups looking for enthusiastic, knowledgeable speakers.
Our Presentation Library offers free powerpoint presentations on variable stars, observing techniques, and other astronomical topics.
Variable Star Astronomy (VSA) is a flexible set of hands-on educational materials, activities, and investigations, based on the AAVSO’s unique electronic database of variable star measurements.
Members and observers have a unique opportunity to present and exchange ideas at the AAVSO meetings. The AAVSO organizes two meetings a year, one in the fall and one in the spring. The fall meeting is the official AAVSO annual meeting that is always held at or near the AAVSO Headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The spring meeting is held outside of the state of Massachusetts with the intention of attracting more members and observers to attend. Everyone interested in the AAVSO and its activities is invited and encouraged to participate in these exciting events.