We were able to generate a bulletin for 2020.
The excel file attached was produced by Eric Dose (DERA) who modified the predictive algorithm his uses for observation planning to replicate the bulletin.
Eric has also taking things further. From an email he sent me:
"Next, a second demo planned early December will show that this same code will support an online "bulletin" for real-time querying by observers. The user enters ranges for preferred dates and magnitudes, and the system will report either or both of: (1) LPVs with those magnitudes and dates, and/or (2) only LPVs with projected minima or maxima in those same ranges. With the code already in place, this extension will not be hard."
We've been talking to HQ about the online tool. The website is about to undergo some major structural changes, so any implementation would occur after that. I will keep you posted.
Rich Roberts (RRIA)
Let me look at this. It was a demonstration document for internal evaluation, and I was surprised to see it released.
ADDED in Edit: Does anyone have an objection to my changing future bulletins' month column headers to "JAN-20", "FEB-20", etc rather than the historical "JAN", "FEB", etc? This would identify the applicable year within the document itself, rather than from its filename only.
ThomasK: Thank you! As we say in the States, "Good catch".
LPV Observers: Please do not use the bulletin at the top of this forum if the link is still there.
In November I sent this as a 2019 Bulletin test/demo file built from 2015-2018 observation data. But somewhere and sometime since it apparently got relabeled as a 2020 Bulletin, which it is not.
So let's take one temporary step back. My next plans are to:
(1) Generate a bona fide 2020 Bulletin, with (for clarity) column headers like "Jan2020" etc in place of the old "JAN" style, right in the document itself.
(2) Then query AAVSO leadership for any changes they would like to make, whether formatting or technical.
(3) Once these changes are made, I will want to follow their preferences on publication of the new Bulletin.
Everyone: does this seem reasonable? Absent objections, I will start this work this weekend. Needed software changes should be few, and I would expect to complete the above item (1) within a week.
Eric Dose (DERA)
no objections on your planned improvements to the bulletin. I am not really a user of it. I wantd to take this opportunity to ask about whether you did updates to your pyclg light curve generator which I heavily use. If so please point me again to the link where to download the newest version.
Maybe you remember that I mentioned a bug to you in case when you uncheck plot in JD then the error bars disappear.
I took down the original file. I apologize for releasing the wrong file and causing this confusion. I'll repost when we have the correct bulletin.
Rich Roberts (RRIA)
Robert: Thanks. It shouldn't take long at all.
Josch: I remember that you had mentioned something, but I lost the detail. So thanks for the reminder; it's now on my to-do list right behind the Bulletin.
The 2020 Bulletin is not ready yet; it is awaiting comments from AAVSO headquarters, and then I will have to run the software to generate it.
When the Bulletin is ready, a link will be posted in this forum thread. It will be in CSV (comma-separated values) format, which can be opened directly by Excel.
Just downloaded and tried "another option" Very nice. I especially like the "within 30 days of max" feature. I am exploring CMOS photometry of bright variables and predicting targets likely to be within 30 days of maximum at a certain data simplifies planning.
Not yet. I sent it to AAVSO but have not heard back. At this point I suppose my best course is to regenerate it and then post a link to it here, but it will be unapproved by AAVSO. On delivery I will do the best I can, but I am utterly buried in astronomy projects just now.
After a crazy winter for me (and now a crazy spring for everyone), the LPV bulletin has percolated to the top of my list, and the first 2020 advanced draft should come out this weekend. I'll plan to post it in this thread.
Format will be close to that of years past, except that the month-column headers have been improved from "JAN", "FEB" etc to "Jan 20" "Feb 21" (meaning 2020 and 2021) to ensure at a glance that the correct year is in play. It will be a CSV file with semi-colon delimiters, importable directly into Excel, OpenOffice, etc.
Let me know if you have preferences for other change from the Bulletins of years past. Specifically:
- The Bulletins could come out annually as was done in the past...but every 6 months might be better, each issue covering the next 8-10 months. This has two advantages: (1) the copy you're using on any given night will be based on more recent data thus better, and (2) the spreadsheets will be smaller. Predictions for 13-14 months in the future are not great anyway. I'll plan to cover March-December 2020 in this first issue unless there is a consensus otherwise.
- My first offering will add the predicted V magnitude to each min or max. I've heard some difference of opinion on this: some visual observers like to "not be influenced", but CCD observers have to set exposure times. I don't really care. Let me know, it's easy to do either way.
In any case, this first draft will be as good as I can make it, but I'll certainly be open to change suggestions.
Thanks so much for keeping your nose to the grindstone toward keeping the Bulletin alive and improving its info.
I like all the suggestions you make, and support whatever it takes to make the Bulletin easier for you and HQ staff to update and publish. As for the V mags, I like the idea of publishing the values for the reasons you state. Visual observers can just ignore the values (like they should ignore recent observations in Web Obs and LCG) or delete the values.
Kindest Regards, Stay Safe, and Good Observing,
The new LPV Bulletin 2020-03 is attached here, covering the period March-December 2020. There are two versions, one CSV file with magnitudes for each Min and Max, and another without. They are otherwise identical.
These Min and Max predictions are based on AID data in V, Visual, and TG for 5 LPV periods through March 15 2020. The N(obs) observation counts are for the 12 months March 1 2019 through Feb 29 2020.
For the curious: the python code used is version 1.01, available on my Github repo at https://github.com/edose/bulletin2 . I will summarize computational methods on the repo's README file, within 2-3 days from now.
When you use this, realize that the predictions are (necessarily) made from past data. I don't suggest that they are perfect (indeed, if mags were perfectly predictable we wouldn't need observations!). Variable stars vary, and they vary in their variation. I only suggest that the predictions are at least as good as, and probably much better than, one could make by inspecting any number of lightcurve plots, especially for stars having very few recent observations.
I think this is what people are looking for. Let me know if not, or if you have suggestions for improvement. We'll do this again in a few months' time.
Eric Dose, DERA
The LPV Bulletin for July 2020-March 2021 is now posted below. Again there are two, one with and one without magnitudes. They are semi-colon separated text files, suitable for importing into your favorite spreadsheet program. I have done a manual sanity check on 7-8 stars and it looks fine.
In December I will do this one more time for the period Dec 2020-September 2021. That will be the last one for me--if there is demand for this (there have been no posts to this forum for 3 months, now), then (from June 2021) someone else will need to take a 1-2 hours twice a year to run it, check it, post it, etc. The python code is public at https://github.com/edose/bulletin2 . There's a readme file with it, and I'll be happy to get someone started--generating the files is essentially a single function call which does everything.
Eric Dose DERA
First i´m not a visual LPV observer, so excuse me if it is a stupid question.
A long time ago there was a tool called „variable star observer“ which is now part of „cartes du ciel“ .
This easy to use software shows me the min/max times and a simple graph that shows me if a star is rising or fading.
The avail , in my opinion, was that the database could be easy edit by the user.
So he could made his own starlist and edit the elements.
This tool was not limited for one year.
Is such a tool not easier for the user?
For many long-period variables, min/max dates and magnitudes just can't be predicted accurately more than 1-2 years into the future--and many not even that far out. They change in both period and magnitude range from cycle to cycle. Indeed, their (possible) unpredictability is why they continue to be observed!
For observing, it's not clear to me why one would need to predict more than a year in advance. Most observers I know would be happy with a month in advance (or even just for tonight!).
The subject of an online LPV predictor (of one star at time, or a user list of stars) did come up at AAVSO a year or so ago, and it was agreed to be a large job, and of insufficient priority. And in fact, there's very little such a tool could do that a look at Lightcurve Generator plots can't already do.
That said, if someone could make good use of such a longer-term tool, this is as good a place as any to make your case. A higher priority, though, might be to ensure continued Bulletin generation via the existing LPV bulletin software--this December's Bulletin edition will definitely be my last.
The LPV Bulletin for December 2020-December 2021 is now posted below.
EDIT: No, they aren't. The AAVSO Forum remains crippled--still no attachments. Sigh.
Again there are two files, one with estimated magnitudes, and one without. Both are semi-colon separated text files, suitable for importing into your favorite spreadsheet program. I have done a manual sanity check on 7-8 stars and it looks fine.
From both these files, I have manually removed 2 stars (RY Car and RS Cen) which simply have too few observations since 2016 to project into 2021.
This is the last LPV Bulletin I will do. Someone else will need to take this over, which has two parts: (1) maintaining the code and improving it, and (2) running the code, checking and posting its results perhaps twice per hear, projecting out 6-9 months each time. The python code is public at https://github.com/edose/bulletin2 . There's a readme file with it, and I'll be happy to get someone started--as it is, generating the files is essentially a single function call which does everything.
My sense is that there isn't nearly enough interest to bother continuing with this. But just in case there is: the code is free to a good home. Probably better to consider the code a head start on your own coding project than to treat it as a turnkey program. In any case, if you're game, clone it to your own PC, ensure that python 3 and a few basic packages are installed, start your IDE, and have at it. The credit and responsibility will be yours. That is, if you want it, own it. Good luck, and