AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 9 Variable Star Databases
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

[Previous] | [Session 9] | [Next]

[9.02] 9.5 Million Variable Star Observations Coming to You by 2005!

E.O. Waagen, J.A. Mattei (AAVSO)

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is in the midst of an exciting two-year project, thanks to a grant from NASA, to validate and make public over 9.5 million mostly visual observations of over 4,900 variable and suspected variable stars contributed to the AAVSO International Database by amateur astronomers around the world since 1911.

The data are being released as the project progresses. They may be accessed around the clock via the AAVSO webpage www.aavso.org/data/download. Validated data are provided electronically to the researcher automatically; a request for unvalidated data is automatically channeled to AAVSO technical staff for fulfillment on a priority basis set by the requester.

Why is validation of the data necessary? The AAVSO is committed to providing to the astronomical community optical variable star data of the highest quality and dependability. To ensure this level of data reliability, incoming observations must be assessed in the context of other observations of the same star made at the same time to be sure they accurately represent both the observers' observations and the optical behavior of the star. When the AAVSO disseminates data on a star, the researcher can rest assured that the AAVSO has performed this assessment. Clearly discrepant observations are not disseminated, but they are kept in the database; no observation is ever discarded except at the express request of the observer.

Examples are given of the longterm optical datasets - many spanning 90 years or more - that are becoming available to the astronomical community through this project, as well as areas of application for AAVSO data, including multiwavelength data correlation, stellar evolution studies, and theoretical model testing. The services the AAVSO offers to the astronomical and educational communities are also described.

The AAVSO gratefully acknowledges NASA grant NAG5-12602 for providing funding for the AAVSO Data Validation Project.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.aavso.org. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: eowaagen@aavso.org

[Previous] | [Session 9] | [Next]

Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.