American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Thu, 03/24/2022 - 19:42

What are youre thoughts for a beginner regarding the challenges related to LPV vs SPVs.  Is one more challenging then the other?  If so, what makes it so?  

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
LPVs as first targets


I've done differential photometry for only several years now and was advised to begin with LPVs. The reasoning was that I could develop my techniques while comparing results with other skilled observers. The cadence for most LPVs is long enough that if I miss observing for a while (weather, etc.) it is not a big loss. I'm not tooled for Short Period Variables and when beginning I couldn't dedicate the hours nightly to SPV, if I could have the chance that another observer was observing my target at the same time (so I could compare my results) was slim.

So, for now I focus on LPVs, several nova, and plan beginning this year to add several Young Stellar Objects to my list as well as the recurring nova T Coronae Borealis. Best of luck with your observing!

Jamey (JENJ)

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

Hello! I observe both. The techniques are the same.

    I chose to add SPVs to my observing runs since I had down time after finishing my LPVs. Since I run the telescope remotely in the backyard, there was no point in my having down time, so I added SPVs for those periods

    One advantage of observing SPVs is the immediate feedback. You can see the curve, see if a particular observation is off the curve, and compare your curve with other observers to see if it matches.

    Your work flow would determine how much extra time the SPV would take. I use MPO Canopus, so I can load a hundred observations for a single night, run them, and generate an AAVSO report. The time to run all the observations is just a little longer than running a single LPV observation.

    Why not do both? If you choose a couple of well observed LPVs and a well observed SPV, you can quickly get a handle on how your work flow would handle both. Best regards.