Variable stars with the AAVSO

Why study variable stars? Well, stars are the engines of our universe and by understanding stars, we can better understand our own universe. In particular, studying variable stars allows us to learn a lot of properties about stars, their distances, luminosity, reasons for variability, and even their origins. In order for the researchers to be able to find all of those properties, they need an enormous amount of observations, sometimes over 10,000! Taking that enormous amount of observations and getting data points for all those observations requires a great deal of manpower. Therefore the researchers enlisted the help of amateur astronomers, like you and me, through the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) to help take all those observations and get those data points. As young astronomers with access to great telescopes like Stone Edge and Yerkes, we can contribute to this science and help further our understanding of the universe we live in. On the AAVSO researchers will tell you in observing campaigns what stars they need observations on and what data they need and how they will use that data. I am one of the many people who will fulfill those requests and take the observations and gets the data. After I get the data I submit it to AAVSO and let the researchers do their work. This way so many people like you and me get the opportunity to help further our understanding of the universe we live in.



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