AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Editorial: What Use Is Astronomy?

Volume 46 number 1 (2018)

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John R. Percy
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, and Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, 50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4, Canada; john.percy@utoronto.ca

Abstract

Why do people such as AAVSOers observe or analyze variable stars? A few readers may simply say that observing is a relaxing, outdoor pastime, like fishing, and that analysis is a way to keep the mind occupied, like solitaire. But most will say “to advance the science of astronomy.” But what use is astronomy?