AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 35 Professional-Amateur Collaboration for Enhanced Research
Topical Session, Tuesday, June 1, 2004, 8:30-10:00am, 10:45am-12:30pm, 710/712

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[35.05] IAPPP and the Pro-Am Connection

D. S. Hall (IAPPP and Vanderbilt University)

IAPPP (International Amateur-Professional Photoelectric Photometry) was born in June 1980 at a time when amateurs doing photoelectric photometry were few in number and working largely in isolation and without guidance or respect from professional astronomers. The IAPPP credo is "to facilitate collaborative research between amateur and professional astronomers". Included almost from the beginning were college professors (not necessarily astronomers by specialty) wishing to do meaningful research with their small campus telescopes and involving their students. Today we see a different and better world.

To date, issues of the quarterly IAPPP Communications have been mailed to members/subscribers in 73 different countries and 78 IAPPP Symposia, many including technical how-to workshops, have been held in 8 different countries. A regular feature in the Communications has documented 518 scientific papers published and co-authored by amateurs in mainstream astronomical journals. More than 71 new variable stars have been discovered photoelectrically by amateurs, 42 percent of naked-eye brightness. A Special Session of the 165th AAS meeting in Tucson was dedicated to IAPPP. Amateurs, not professionals, were behind the renaissance of remote computer-controlled photometric telescopes that today are mainstream. Full-length books on photoelectric photometry have been authored or co-authored by almost as many amateurs as professionals. Photoelectric observing projects outlined in past issues of the Communications have involved not only stars (variable and otherwise) but also galaxies (including quasars and blazars), Solar System objects (the Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, and comets), occultation events, and even light pollution and atmospheric extinction. IAPPP has naturally embraced the advent of CCD photometry, inasmuch as CCD's are photoelectric devices - photons in, electrons out.

Meaningful research by amateurs using the powerful technique of photoelectric photometry is no longer a potential touted by only a few professionals. It is a reality recognized by most. For more on amateur/professional collaboration, photoelectric photometry, and IAPPP, contact douglas.s.hall@vanderbilt.edu.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: douglas.s.hall@vanderbilt.edu

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