Online Courses Observing Manuals Variable Stars Videos


Community-driven Learning

Our goal at the 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 2021, the first Saturday of every month, AAVSO is presenting a How-to Hour, each with an instructor that walks you through an aspect of observing. On two other Saturdays per month, the AAVSO is hosting free webinars featuring figures in astronomy who will present on their research. If you are unable to attend live, we have an archive of all recordings that you can watch at your leisure.
  • 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 where you are at. 



  • 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


   Research & Analysis