Visual Resource and Reading List

This page is a work in progress. Please help by suggesting more resources and reading material.

The idea is to assemble a list of freely available knowledge on visual observing, techniques and products available on the Internet. If you know of any interesting or valuable resources we should include here email AAVSO HQ with links, urls, book titles, etc.

(remember to order them from through our website. 5% of the purchase price will be donated to AAVSO!)

There are many other books with reviews in the AAVSO Variable Star Bookstore that may not specifically relate to visual observing, but are about variable star related subjects.

AAVSO Visual Observing Manual

The Webb Deep-Sky Society Handbook, Volume 8, Variable Stars by John E. Isles
It's available from
and has a very good section titled 'Sources Of Error' (Not to be skipped).

Observational Astronomy for Amateurs by J.B Sidgwick (available from Amazon)

Articles and blogs:

Suggested Stars for Visual Observers

CVnet-CVs for Visual Observers
Small Scope Sampler

A List of Easy to Observe Stars

Stars to avoid: Historically observed stars now known to be constant

LPV Section Forum
The Usefulness of Visual Observations


AAVSO LPV Section Home Page

AAVSO Cataclysmic Variables Section Home Page

Cataclysmic Variable Network (CVnet)

Tools and other resources:

AAVSO Variable Star Index (VSX)

Telescopic Limiting Magnitude Calculator

Commercial products: