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Session 30 - Amateurs & Professionals: Collaborators in the New Age of Electronic Astronomy.
Display session, Tuesday, June 10
South Main Hall,
Since 1991 we have been engaged in long-term photometric studies of cataclysmic variables, mostly with CCD cameras mounted on small backyard telescopes. Cataclysmic variables are famous for their large quasi-periodic eruptions on timescales of weeks to years. Less well known, but equally fascinating, are their strictly periodic signals on short timescales (\sim 10 minutes to \sim 4 days). These represent the spin of the white dwarf, the binary orbital period, ``superhump'' periods, and disk precession periods. They give a fine return for a small time invested. And they give excellent scientific return for monitoring closely over intervals of weeks to months, timescales which most traditional research programs cannot effectively study. As computers and imaging systems improve, it seems likely that networks of this type will bring enormous benefit to the science of variable stars, by tapping the energy and talents of backyard astronomers around the world.
Program listing for Tuesday