Reprinting/Revising Charts?

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Mon, 01/01/2024 - 17:43

Hi all,

I've been happily doing the Binocular Program for nearly a decade now.  Every year or so, I do a chart audit; that is, making sure that I haven't misplaced any charts for stars that belong to the program.  (For some reason, I'm good at misplacing charts.  I seem to have lost T Cet and the entire constellation of Cygnus over the past twelve months!)

Is there any value for a visual observer to reprint charts after a certain interval....say every five or ten years?  Some of my charts date from 2013.  Do we find a lot of errors in comparison stars over a decade, or are these things pretty set?

--Michael in Houston (RMW)

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
It’s a good question Michael…

It’s a good question Michael, and I have been reluctant to post my solution in case it’s not quite the right way to go about it, until now.

My solution has been to occasionally, like the start of the 6-month (approximately, less for southern sky, more for northern targets) season for each variable star, plot a new chart with VSP and see if there has been any change or update. If not, then I don’t bother to print a new chart, and simply report the chart number of the newly plotted chart, and use that chart number for the reports. This seemed logical to me, as long as there have been no changes. The exception occurred this past week with the request to plot new charts for T CrB (in the newsletter). No problem, several comparison stars have changed, and we simply go forward using the new charts with new comparison magnitudes.

Otherwise, I guess that the tactic of simply plotting a new chart periodically to check for changes, and using the more recent chart number, without needing to print the chart (assuming no changes) works without problem.