112 Annual Meeting Abstracts


40 years of Research on Cataclysmic Variables with AAVSO

Dr. Paula Szkody, University of Washington

Cataclysmic variables are a major target for many AAVSO observers, which has led to a long term database that is of tremendous value in attempting to understand all the idiosyncrasies of these systems. I will highlight some of the work and results obtained by collaborations with AAVSO directors and members throughout the past 40 years and present some results from our current Large Treasury HST program on CVs.


Looking for the Footprints of Protoplanets

Dr. Katherine Espaillat, Boston University

Planets form out of the building blocks and raw materials that were present in their planetary nurseries, known as protoplanetary disks. In order to catch planet formation in action, we search for the telltale footprints that actively forming planets leave behind on these protoplanetary disks. We employ both computer simulations and astronomical observations in our research, working with multi-wavelength data spanning the X-ray to radio wavelengths.


Imaging Stars with the CHARA Array

Dr. Gail Schaefer:

The CHARA Array combines the light of six 1-meter telescopes at optical and near infrared wavelengths to achieve an angular resolution equivalent to a 300 meter telescope. The Array is located at Mount Wilson Observatory and operated by Georgia State University. With milli-arcsecond resolution, the CHARA Array can measure the sizes of stars, image stellar surfaces, resolve the inner structure of circumstellar disks, map the orbits of close binary companions, and peer into the early structure of nova explosions. I will give an overview of the CHARA Array, highlight recent science results, and discuss a new collaboration with AAVSO to provide photometric observations on CHARA targets.