By Thomas R. Williams
Based in 1911, the AAVSO boasts over 1200 participants and observers and is the world's biggest non-profit association devoted to variable megastar remark. This well timed publication marks the AAVSO's centennial yr, offering an authoritative and exact historical past of this significant organization. Writing in an enticing and obtainable sort, the authors flow chronologically via 5 eras of the AAVSO, discussing the evolution of its constitution and goal. during the textual content, the main target is at the hundreds of thousands of people whose contributions have made the AAVSO's growth attainable. Describing a century of interplay among novice astronomers, the authors have a good time the collaborative relationships that experience existed through the years. because the definitive heritage of the 1st hundred years of the AAVSO, this article has extensive allure and may be of curiosity to novice astronomers, in addition to historians and sociologists of technology as a rule.
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Extra info for Advancing Variable Star Astronomy: The Centennial History of the American Association of Variable Star Observers
35 In his “Third catalogue of variable stars” of 1896, Chandler made a more pointed criticism of HCO, while defending “the degree of uniformity and completeness” of variable star observations made to date, noting that: 15 this harmonious development has been attained without any concerted scheme of “cooperation,” but by the free will and independently planned efforts of individual volunteers, each discriminatingly directing his work in accordance with his means and situation . . 36 In effect, Chandler was reflecting an abiding concern among scientists, both amateur and professional, in the late nineteenth century – specifically, the issue of what constitutes authoritative evidence in a scientific setting.
Black, H. C. Levinson, Rev. R. F. Bumpus, H. W. Vrooman, W. Henry (from The Monthly Evening Sky Map, Vol. 9, No. 106, 1915). 72 Leonard remained an SPA director. 73 SPA VARIABLE STAR SECTION William Tyler Olcott of Norwich, Connecticut, served as the first leader of the SPA Variable Star Section upon Leonard’s invitation. By January 1912, Olcott was writing notes on variable star observing in the Monthly Register of the SPA. The SPA-VSS had about 15 members in 1912. 74 In late 1914, Leonard, an active variable star observer who contributed more than 1400 observations to Olcott’s own fledgling AAVSO between 1913 and 1917, announced he would lead the SPA variable star observing effort.
41 Over the next 10 years, he published more than 20 articles and numerous notes on variable stars in Popular Astronomy, as well as in AJ and AN. Parkhurst expressed the most objective view on the visual/photographic controversy. In his March 1894 Popular Astronomy article, he acknowledged the recent emergence of photographic observation methods and noted how photography can produce results for the fainter stars, especially when many plates of a region are made over a period of time. He also noted, however, that accurate photographic astronomy required specialized equipment and techniques beyond the reach of most amateurs.