Thu, 08/29/2013 - 18:20




The recent windfall of contributors in regard to N Del 2013 prompted me to review the list accompanying the visual light curve up to today – Aug 29th. 327 observers! What do we find in this trawling net?....13 observers in “China”. (Could this, in fact, be Taiwan?)


I wonder if these enthusiasts could be approached with friendly overtures to contribute to the database, at least in regards to eruptive variables? This would ameliorate the time zone gap I've previously brought to the association's attention.


I'd like to know what Matthew and others on the staff think about such an initiative.




wwj: "I'd like to know what Matthew and others on the staff think about such an initiative."

I think it's a fine idea actually.  Earlier this year we started tracking when people contribute their first observation, and I know Elizabeth and Sara emailed several dozen new people who contributed observations of Nova Del over the past week or so.  I'd like to reach out to *everyone* starting out, but for sure we're thinking about ways to reach out to geographic locations we haven't historically worked with. 

Thanks for the suggestion!


American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
New Observers

Just to add to what Matthew said, at least since sometime in April, he and Elizabeth and I have been taking turns writing to EVERY new observer. I wrote a little script which finds the new observers each week and makes it easy for us to send them an email welcoming them to the AAVSO and letting them know how much their contributions are appreciated. We have found that it also gives us the opportunity to take a look at their first few observations and give them a little help or friendly advice if it looks like they are having problems.

Of course the new Nova Del observers were no exception, even though that meant writing about 90 emails in the past two weeks. Many of them also wrote back to us to express their enthusiasm which is a good sign.

I know that this initiative doesn't specifically address the concern about longitude or eruptive variables in particular, but it does extend a friendly welcome without saying anything that might be considered intimidating to a newbie and i think it is well worth the time that has been invested.

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
New observers from China and encouragement to all newcomers

Among the observers of Nova Del 2013, the recent new observers from "China" are in fact from mainland China, not Taiwan.

AAVSO policy and practice is to write to all new observers in a given week to welcome them, thank them for their first observations and give feedback on the quality of their observations, and encourage them to continue observing. Thanks largely to the nova, in the past two weeks we have written to over 50 new observers from at least 10 countries (and ~20 returning observers, some of whom have not observed in decades)! The great majority have been visual observers.

Good observing  -  Elizabeth Waagen, AAVSO HQ

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

Hey Bill,

I've chimed in a bit late on this post, but it needs some redress... Communism's over here and people are trying to make a living for the first time since before the revolution. They have a lot of catching up to do to reach your elegant standard  of living in Cumbria, but some of them are making the effort to contribute to something worthwhille like the AAVSO in their valuable spare time, so give them a go (like Matthew and Elizabeth do) They have a lot more numbers over Taiwan, and don't need 'friendly overtures'. That was in the '60s. Maybe you should take a break from searching light curve data (you busy fellow, you), and rethink your parochialism so you  find out more about the conditions in China, and what you can do to help encourage more observers here.