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Session 21 - Amateurs & Professionals: Collaborators in the New Age of Electronic Astronomy - I.
Oral session, Tuesday, June 10
North Main Hall C/D,

[21.01] Current AAVSO Frontiers

E. O. Waagen, J. A. Mattei (American Association of Variable Star Observers)

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is the largest such organization in the world. The AAVSO International Database (AID) contains over 8.5 million mostly visual observations of over 3000 variable stars by more than 5,400 observers.

The AAVSO has a long history of collaborations with the astronomical and educational communities. Particularly since the 1970's, it has given vital assistance to dozens of astronomers engaged in ground-based and satellite variable star research.

Advances in technology continue to be utilized by the AAVSO and its observers. Substantial software has been written to analyze variable star observations, and significant research is underway on different variables.

2 million observations -- from 1911 to 1961 -- have been digitized, and processing them into the AID is nearly completed. Once the data are evaluated, they will be available for research, along with other observations in the AID.

The Internet is enabling the AAVSO to give access to variable stars -- to the public, observers, and researchers around the world -- to an extent never before possible.

The AAVSO's multi-media educational project, Hands-On Astrophysics: Variable Stars in the Math/Physics Lab, nearing completion, will teach math and physics concepts through variable stars.

The AAVSO has been archiving photoelectric V observations of the 60+ stars in its photoelectric photometry (PEP) observing program since 1983. The AAVSO CCD observing program has been in operation since the early 1990's; several hundred BVRI CCD observations of CCD program stars have been archived. Finding charts are created for new objects and PEP and CCD programs.

We look forward to continued growth of the AAVSO's variable-star databases and observing programs. We will continue to serve the astronomical and educational communities, analyze data, encourage young people to learn about their world through variable stars, and evolve to meet new challenges and opportunities.

Program listing for Tuesday