How to Write an AAVSOnet Proposal

If you want to observe a star using AAVSOnet, you should submit a proposal. You can do that using the AAVSOnet Proposal Form:

Tips for writing proposals

Though writing a proposal might seem intimidating at first, you will find that the AAVSOnet proposal review process is not as strict or competitive as the review process at many other observatories.

The main purpose of an AAVSOnet proposal is to provide guidance for the volunteers who will set up your observing plan. For this reason, you should include details relevant to observing:

  • How frequently would you like your star to be observed?
  • Which filters do you want us to use?
  • When should we eventually stop monitoring your star?

Here is what we’re looking for when we review a proposal:

  1. Is it on topic? (In other words, is the target a variable star?)
  2. Will AAVSOnet be able to provide you with useful data? (In other words, is the star bright enough to see, and does it vary by a measurable amount?)
  3. Will the project consume too much telescope time? (If you need unbroken coverage for an entire night, your proposal is less likely to be accepted, since it would prevent other proposals from running on the telescope that night.)

Here are some things which we do not consider when reviewing a proposal:

  1. Is the proposal well-written? (We care about content, not grammar.)
  2. Will the data be used for science? (We welcome proposals for the purposes of education and personal interest, not just research.)
  3. Did you specify a telescope? (We will pick out the telescope(s) which will get you the highest quality data.)

Remember, your proposal doesn't need to be perfect. If there is an issue with your proposal, we will let you know, and work with you to help improve your submission.


Help, I can't access the proposal form!

In order to view the AAVSOnet Proposal Form, you must be an AAVSO member in good standing, and be logged into your AAVSO web account.

To find out whether you are an AAVSO member in good standing:

  1. Log in to your AAVSO web account:
  2. View your member profile:
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of your member profile, and read the section titled "Membership Information".
    • If the "Membership Paid Through" date is in the past, you will need to renew your membership before you can use AAVSOnet.
    • If you just see a note saying that you are not a member, you need to apply for AAVSO membership before you can use AAVSOnet.

I already submitted a proposal. Has my proposal been accepted?

As soon as you submit a proposal, it will be assigned an ID #, and will appear in the Proposals list. You can check on its status there:

When your proposal is accepted, rejected, or allocated to a telescope, you will receive an email notification. You will not receive an email when a volunteer leaves feedback in the comments on the proposal page—so we recommend that you check your proposal's page frequently.

Where can I find information about my targets?

The proposal form requires certain information about each target (its name, coordinates, and magnitude range). To find this information for your star, you can search for your star in VSX, the AAVSO’s international variable star database.

Is my proposal a good match for AAVSOnet?

If your target is a variable star, has a V magnitude between 6-18, and you don't need an intensive timeseries, the answer is usually yes. For more details, consult the flowchart below: