Online Courses Observing Manuals Variable Stars Videos


Community-driven Learning

Our goal at AAVSO is to make variable star astronomy accessible to everyone, whether you are interested in observing, research, or just learning why stars vary in the first place. We accomplish this by creating a community full of individuals that are able to help each other. We facilitate this interaction in a wide variety of ways:

  • How-to Hours and Webinars - Throughout 2022, AAVSO holds free and open-to-all live interactive sessions on Zoom. The first Saturday of every month, AAVSO is presenting a How to [. . .] session, each with a guest instructor demonstrating how to conduct an aspect of astronomy research or observing. On the second Saturday of each month, is a webinar in Spanish (un seminario de web, Las Estrellas a tu Alcance) with the gust astronomer presenting their research. On the fourth Saturday from January through October, are our Superstar Astronomers episodes, with world-famous gust astronomers presenting on their research. Please note: Superstar Astronomers is an AAVSO members-only benefit. You can become a member and take part in these episodes! Many of the astronomer guests also explain how AAVSO observers can become involved in research projects.
  • Webinar and How-to Hour recordings--if you were unable to attend our webinars and How-to hours live, we have an archive of all 2020 and 2021 recordings that you can watch at your leisure. The 2022 How-to Hours and Spanish-language webinars will also become available on our YouTube channel. 
  • Forums  - If you have a question related to observing, instrumentation, or variable stars in general, the forum is the place to ask. The community is very responsive and very willing to help.
  • Mentors  - As long as you are a member in good standing, you can request more individualized attention through our mentorship program. 
  • Getting Involved - Our education model is only possible by the valuable efforts of people like you. We encourage you to help in whatever way is right for you. 


Online Resources

Over the years, we have published a large variety of content that will help you on your variable star journey no matter what level you are on.



  • 10-Star Tutorial - Learn to observe variables stars, with no equipment necessary.
  • Easy to Observe Stars - Continue your journey with interesting but manageable targets.
  • Binocular Program - Increase your potential targets with just a pair of binoculars.
  • Julian Date - Understanding the astronomical time standard.
  • CCD Observing - Using your CCD for science.
  • More Resources - Want to learn more? This page is a link to everything a newcomer should need to get started.

         Experienced Observers

  • Standard Fields - Standard stars used for computing transformation coefficients.
  • Transforms - Everything you need to transform your CCD observations.
  • CCD School - An in-depth paid course on the intricacies of CCD Observing.
  • More Resources - CCD resources and Reading List.

Research & Analysis