Tim Lyster joined the AAVSO in September 2023. Previously, he served in various editorial, production, operational, marketing, and sales roles for multiple Boston-based publications, including the American Prospect, the Nonprofit Quarterly, and Compliance Week.
Like the exact date of the Big Bang, it’s uncertain when Tim’s nascent interest in the universe flickered into existence. He was 7 when his older sister gifted him The Night Sky and The Stars and their Legends for Christmas—classic introductory texts published by Ladybird Books— accompanied by a 30-mm handheld refractor. Throughout his high school years, many pleasant evenings were spent under London’s Bortle 8 skies learning the brighter asterisms and observing the Moon and planets through progressively-larger-but-always-modest instruments. Prior to departing for college, Tim deployed his secondhand 3-inch TASCO reflector to good effect, obtaining a grade A in “O” level Astronomy.
He subsequently earned a B.S. in Physics with Astrophysics from the University of Kent at Canterbury, and an M.S. in Astronomy from Sussex University, where he submitted a graduate thesis entitled “Cosmochronology and the Chemical Evolution of Galaxies.” Newly credentialed, Tim was hired to lead Astronomy Now, Britain’s amateur astronomy magazine, and successfully executed a redesign and the launch of the first European AstroFest. During his tenure, he became a member of the Association of British Science Writers and was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society.
One of AstroFest’s keynote speakers, Leif Robinson, invited Tim to become Sky & Telescope’s managing editor. In that role, he wrote a monthly column, New Product Showcase, book reviews, news notes, edited department and feature articles, coordinated the activities of the editorial and design teams, and covered professional and amateur events in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K.
Observational highlights include lying on a field at Riverside Telescope Makers Conference, mesmerized by a sky so bursting with stars that it overwhelmed; seeing Comet Hyakutake en route to Cape Cod, through the sunroof of a car; and the first view of M57 through his 5-inch refractor.
Marketing feels like a good fit for how Tim works, marrying qualitative and quantitative thinking. He hopes his contributions to the AAVSO help increase organizational exposure, build brand equity, expand membership and sponsorship engagement, and ultimately drive the organization toward its mission. While much in life is variable, his zeal for all things astronomical remains undimmed.
This page last updated: 2023-09-27