104th Spring Meeting of the AAVSO

The 2015 Spring Meeting of the AAVSO was held June 4-6 at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.   As many of you may know, 2015 is the International Year of Light. The meeting theme, "We are light!" celebrated the AAVSO's century-long commitment to the study of the variable light of the night sky.  This was Stella Kafka's first AAVSO meeting as Director of the Association.  Many thanks to the attendees who made this a wonderful meeting!


- Updates - Transportation
- Description of Events - Registration
- Schedule - Abstract Submission
- Accommodations - Deadlines to Remember
- Be a Corporate Sponsor/Vendor!  


- Videos are available for Bill Goff's Treasurer's Report and Stella's first Director's Report!

- Click here for the group photo!

- Master Schedule (pdf) and Abstracts (pdf)

- Click here for conference maps. 

- A note about parking on campus:  We strongly recommend you use the free shuttle bus service that will operate between the hotels and the BSU campus. If you must use your car, you will find that legal parking on campus is scarce Monday through Fridays. On Saturday the lot (R11) adjacent to the planetarium is open and unrestricted, but the number of parking spaces is limited. Never park in a handicap space (without proper car ID) and never in a space designated “special parking.” The Universty will tow unauthorized vehicles in these spaces.

- Schedule has been updatedClick here to view an updated schedule including paper order.

- About Muncie and Restaurant List.

- Attendee list: Click here for an updated list of attendees.

- Public Talk Info:

Public Talk by AAVSO Director, Dr. Stella Kafka
Title: Variable Stars and Their Stories
Location: Ball State's Charles W. Brown Planetarium
Date/Time: Wednesday, June 3rd at 7:30pm

At the end of Stella’s talk we will offer a 10-minute planetarium program for anyone that wants to stay. Also, Bob Berrington will be operating the SARA telescope in Chile.  Visitors are welcome to drop by and have a look.


Opening Dessert Meet & Greet: We will be holding an informal gathering at 8pm Thursday evening featuring ice cream, cookies, fruit, and fellowship.  All attendees are invited to stop by, register, drop off presentations for talks, and say hello. This will be an excellent opportunity to connect with old friends and to welcome our new members and first-time meeting attendees. 

Paper Sessions: We are light! Keeping with our meeting theme, papers on any topic dealing with the variable light from the night sky or the sun will be presented in sessions held on Friday and Saturday.  Posters will also be presented on Saturday. 

Planetarium Show: Our host at Ball State University, Dr. Ron Kaitchuck, is also the Director of Ball State's Charles W Brown Planetarium, which opened to the public in November 2014.  A planetarium show will be a part of our program, so that we can see this state of the art facility in action!  Currently the show is scheduled for Friday at the conclusion of the afternoon paper session.

Membership Meeting: All attendees are invited to this gathering, which will be held Saturday morning. The purpose of this meeting is to inform attendees of the activities of the Association. The Treasurer's and Director’s Reports will be included.  All portions of the membership meeting will be broadcast online at no charge via GoToWebinar.  (Details will be announced on the website.) We will leave plenty of time for Q&A and will be taking questions from both in-person and online attendees.

Closing Award Banquet: We will hold our closing awards banquet on the Ball State University campus.


Thursday, June 4, 2015  (Hampton Inn, Royale Room)

8:00am - 6:00pm
AAVSO Council Meeting (current Council members only)

8:00pm - 10:00pm
Opening Meet & Greet, Registration

Friday, June 5, 2015 (Brown Planetarium, Ball State University Campus)

Shuttle service from hotels to BSU campus starts (Last drop-off at 9:00am)


9:00am - 10:15am
Lightcurves and Period Changes for Type II Cepheids in the Globular Cluster M13 - Horace A. Smith
Multiband CCD Photometry of CY Aquarii using the AAVSOnet - Dave Cowall
Poster introductions - poster authors

10:15am - 10:45am
Coffee Break and Poster Viewing

10:45 - noon
Double Trouble - Mike Simonsen
Standard Stars for the BYU H-alpha Photometric System - Michael Joner
Rolloff Roof Observatory Construction - Joe Ulowetz

noon - 2:00pm
Lunch Break

2:00pm - 3:30pm
Thomas Cragg proves to be a good observer - Rodney Howe (presented by Roger Kolman & Kris Larsen)
Searching for motion within the solar atmosphere - Susan N. Oatney
Study of Eclipsing Binary Systems NSVS 732240 and NSVS 5726288 - Matthew Knote
A Search for Exoplanets in Short-Period Eclipsing Binary Star Systems - Ronald Kaitchuck

3:30pm - 4:00pm
Coffee Break and Poster Viewing

4:00pm - 5:00pm
Planetarium Show

Saturday, June 6, 2015 (Brown Planetarium, Ball State University Campus)

Shuttle service from hotels to BSU campus starts (Last drop-off at 9:00am)


9:00am - 10:30am
AAVSO Membership Meeting: Minutes, Treasurer’s Report, Director’s Report

10:30am - 10:45am
Coffee Break and Poster Viewing

10:45am - noon
Stellar Presentations - Donna Young
Campus Observatory Tour (not handicap accessible)

noon - 2:00pm
Lunch Break

2:00pm - 3:00pm
The Nature of Z Cam Standstills - Mike Simonsen
The Lyncis Two for One Special - Michael Joner
Automated Supernova Discovery - Richard S Post

3:00pm - 3:30pm
Coffee Break and Poster Viewing

3:30pm - 4:30pm
IM Normae: A Second T Pyx? - Joe Patterson
Globular Cluster Variable Stars - Atlas and Coordinate Improvement using AAVSOnet Telescopes - Doug Welch
A LARI Experience - Michael Cook

Saturday, June 6, 2015 (Cardinal Hall, Student Center, Ball State University Campus)

Shuttle service from hotels to BSU campus starts (Last drop-off at 7:00pm)

Cash Bar
Dinner, Trivia Game, Raffle


Sleeping rooms for AAVSO meeting attendees have been reserved both at the Muncie Holiday Inn Express and the Muncie Hampton Inn. (The properties are across the street from each other.) We have secured a special group rate of $109 plus tax.  Both hotels include breakfast in this rate.  Please make your reservations by calling the hotel no later than May 3, 2015, and be sure to mention that you will be participating in the AAVSO meeting when making room reservations.

Hotel contact information:

Hampton Inn: (SOLD OUT as of 4/30/15)
4220 West Bethel Ave, Muncie, IN 47304
(765) 288-8500

Holiday Inn Express:
4201 West Bethel Ave, Muncie, IN 47304
(765) 289-4678

Roommate matching assistance will be available for those who would like to lower costs by sharing a room - just complete the appropriate section of the registration form once available.


  • Airport to Hotel (The closest major airport is Indianapolis International Airport.)
    • Attendees have the option of renting a car and driving to Muncie.  This is a 60 to 90 minute drive.
    • The Hoosier Ride bus company provides bus service between Indianapolis Airport and Ball State University Campus in Muncie. A taxi can be called for the short, 10 min ride to the hotels.   Please note: The bus runs only a couple of times a day, so you might want to keep this in mind when deciding on flight times.
      • Indianapolis Airport to Ball State on Thursday, June 4th
        • dep airport 11:30 am, arr Muncie 1:30 pm
        • dep airport 5:30 pm, arr Muncie 7:30 pm
      • Ball State to Indianapolis Airport on Sunday, June 7th
        • dep Muncie 9:00 am, arr airport 11:05 am
        • dep Muncie 1:30 pm, arr airport 3:20 pm
  • Hotel to Campus
    • Transportation will be provided between the Hampton Inn/Holiday Inn Express and the Ball State University campus on Friday and Saturday, both for the paper sessions and the banquet Saturday evening.


NEW THIS YEAR!! For the very first time the AAVSO will be offering a full online meeting attendance option.  In the past we have broadcast the Saturday morning membership meeting to our members free of charge.  We will continue to do this, but we will add the option of registering for the meeting as an online attendee and virtually attending all paper sessions.  We will be using a webinar service to broadcast the meeting.  Video will consist primarily of the presenter's PowerPoint presentation with occasional webcam shots. We will also give attendees access to recordings of each session for a limited time after the meeting.  We are happy to expand the possibilities of meeting attendance to more of our members, observers, and friends.

Students: Educators bringing students to the meeting or groups of students attending are welcome to use the family rate to register up to 4 individuals.  Educators with larger groups or students who would like to attend on their own should contact us for more information on possible student discounts and scholarships.

  • To register to attend the meeting IN PERSON: If you plan to join us in Indiana for the meeting, please complete the MEETING REGISTRATION FORM by May 8, 2015. You can complete this form online (you must be logged into the AAVSO website) or you can call the AAVSO (617-354-0484) to request that a paper copy of the registration form be mailed to you.  After May 8th registration will be more expensive and some events may be sold out. (All non-member rates include membership for primary registrant through 2015.)
  • To register to attend the meeting VIRTUALLY/ONLINE: If you will not be traveling to Indiana, but would like to attend the meeting online, please visit the AAVSO store to purchase access.  Prior to the meeting, you will receive an email containing links for each session. (All non-member rates include membership through 2015.)

List of Fees:
IN PERSON Meeting registration (member): Single early - $75, Family early - $115, Single late - $85, Family late - $125
IN PERSON Meeting registration (non-member, includes membership for primary registrant through 2015): Single early - $125, Family early - $165, Single late - $135, Family late - $175
VIRTUAL/ONLINE Meeting registration (member): Early - $60, Late - $70
VIRTUAL/ONLINE Meeting registration (non-member, includes membership through 2015): Early - $110, Late - $120
Banquet: $20-$25 (depending on entree selected)


The early abstract submission deadline is May 8, 2015. After that, late abstracts will be accepted on a space-available basis until May 15, 2015.  You may complete the abstract submission form online via the 104th Spring Meeting Operations page (strongly preferred) or you can call the AAVSO (617-354-0484) to request that a paper copy of the abstract form be mailed to you. NOTE: The abstract form will not appear until you have registered for the meeting.

Meeting attendees are permitted to submit up to 2 abstract forms. (This can be 2 posters, 2 oral presentations or one of each.) Abstracts are limited to 500 words.

Please note: We will have a limited amount of time to accommodate oral presentations. If we are unable to schedule your paper as an oral presentation, you will be informed by May 18, 2015 and you will be welcome to present your work as a poster paper.


• May 3rd - Hotel Reservation Deadline
• May 8th - Early Registration & Abstract Submission Deadline
• May 15th - Final Abstract Submission Deadline
• May 18th - Notification of Oral Presentation Status
• May 26th - Final Preregistration Deadline


Would you like to give your business a boost by having a presence to the AAVSO Spring Meeting? Multiple levels of participation are be offered, so you're sure to find the right fit for needs. Download the Sponsorship Application for more information or contact us with any questions.

We thank the following for their sponsorship:



Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have.

We hope to see you at the meeting!