Motivated by the UNESCO’s initiative to announce 2015 as the International Year of Light, the AAVSO is celebrating more than a century of commitment to collecting photons in order to study the variable sky. As part of that celebration, a set of activities has been announced, engaging everyone interested in astronomy to share their favorite story, research project, pretty picture, observing experience, or art work. We invite you to join us and share with us your passion for observing the night sky.
The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is a non-profit international organization supporting collaborations between professional and non-professional astronomers working collegially on research projects at the forefront of scientific discovery. For more than a century now, photons collected by observers worldwide have been enriching a database (AAVSO International Database; AID) of about half a million objects; objects that showcase all kinds of variability in optical wavelengths. Variables populating the database include Eclipsing binaries, Pulsating stars, Cataclysmic Variables, and Exoplanets transiting their host star. Active Galactic Nuclei, Young Stellar Objects, and Gamma Ray Burst optical counterparts are some of the most exotic flavors of objects hosted in the database.
We invite you to join us and share with us your passion for observing the night sky. We particularly welcome submissions from students and educators from New Zealand, as the unsurpassed beauty and richness of the Southern night sky is undoubtedly a constant source of inspiration. All projects will be displayed on dedicated AAVSO web pages and will be showcased at the AAVSO Annual meeting (Boston MA, November 2015). Participation in the meeting is not required.
Dr. Styliani (Stella) Kafka is the current Director of the AAVSO. Her research interests include investigating multiple aspects of variability and magnetic activity in binary systems and studying Type-Ia supernova progenitors, utilizing multi-wavelength short- and long-term photometric and spectroscopic data. She teaches physics and astronomy and serves as mentor for undergraduate and graduate students. At the American Institute of Physics she is responsible for most aspects of the AIP journals, including defining editorial direction, developing marketing strategies, and evaluating business plans for their future development. She also serves as liaison to the scientific community for the journals.