AAVSO webinar, with its Short Period Pulsator Observing Section
April 10 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDTFree
The webinar begins with an quick introduction by SPP observing section leader Eric Hintz, and is followed by:
Jarrod Hansen: "Using short period variables to teach research to undergraduate students" (25 minutes): SPP variables have been used as one of the targets for an observational astronomy class at Brigham Young University. The final goal of this class is to generate publication-quality papers from data taken in class and from online archives. The current state of what the students can do with SPP variables will be discussed.
Marcelo Bighetti: "Development of a high school competition based on short period pulsating stars" (25 min.): SPP stars and other variables provide ideal targets for young observers. A study showed that many junior high and high school-age students think astronomers run star parties. To change this perception, an idea for high school competition using data on SPP stars will be presented. This is in early development, but we hope to have a test program next school year. Once piloted, plans include having AAVSO observers help school groups get even larger data sets.
Eric Hintz: "Testing automated variable star period determinations for SPP stars" (40 min.): Observers can contribute even if they only have a couple hours in a night to work. We have used SPP variables to teach research methods to our astronomy majors at BYU. The students can see clear variations in a single night and can most likely get entire cycles of the light curve. We hope to make a list of targets available to AAVSO observers that covers both hemispheres, over the entire year, and over a range of magnitudes. The majority of these objects do not appear in previous variable star catalogs, and most don't have an entry in SIMBAD. This is a chance to help establish the true nature of these objects, even if you only have a few hours.