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AAVSO Futures: 1996-2005 PowerPoint Presentation
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AAVSO Futures: 1996-2005

AAVSO Futures: 1996-2005

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AAVSO Futures: 1996-2005

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  1. AAVSO Futures: 1996-2005 Arne Henden Director, AAVSO arne@aavso.org

  2. Dave Sworin’s 1996 email • Wrote email 1 October 1996 • Contained paper for submission to journal • 16 pages of text! • Found by Mike Saladyga, given to me in 2005 • “Internet Technology Ideas for the AAVSO” • Note: first “web site” for AAVSO was early 1996 • Council Futures session in 1995, reported at Fall meeting; seed of Dave’s paper • Dave attended Microsoft’s Professional Developer’s Conference in 1996, where they presented their future plans for the Internet

  3. AAVSO Goals • Maintain and improve value of AID • Improve relationship with professional astronomers • Improved support for variable star observers (VSOs), particularly new ones • Recruit new members and observers • Improve international cooperation and support of observers • Do more science with AAVSO variable star data • Reduce and control AAVSO costs • Improve access to dark skies for VSOs • Leverage new technology for VS research • Get additional grants and funding • Improve the quality of the AAVSO membership • Improve the effectiveness of the Director and staff by reducing any unnecessary workload • Improve the image of the AAVSO within the community of amateur astronomers and advance public recognition of the AAVSO and its contributions to science

  4. Dave’s Recommendations • Committee of volunteers to assist AAVSO staff on computer and internet. For example, create web pages containing an annotated bibliography of variable star papers • Provide real-time resources for science education using variable stars • Web site should target audiences (server side knowledge of which audience a regular visitor belongs to could tailor the web site dynamically) • Should carefully design website, take advantage of authoring tools. Watch costs in web site maintenance

  5. Dave’s Ideas • Online variable star observation data entry • Online database queries of star behavior with various filters and processing options • Database monitors for professionals interested in stars under certain trigger conditions. Automatic email notification without staff intervention • Online, up-to-date list of variable stars needed more observations with details on time window, aperture, and photometric equipment requirements • Maintain database table of each observer’s program stars; utility to give back a list of stars ranked in importance to AAVSO for given night

  6. Dave’s Ideas - 2 • Online variable star annotated bibliography • Email public folder of latest submitted observations • Online college handbook of schools offering courses on VS and doing VS research; list of professors and professional astronomers with picture and bio • AAVSO variable star stock ticker display (SS Cygni at 11 1/8). Stats on largest gain or loss, etc. • Value point system for VS observations to supplement straight observation count • Online observer’s handbook • Downloadable voice dictation entry program for observers to enter data while observing, email file afterwards

  7. Dave’s Ideas - 3 • Pictures of AAVSO observers and members with telescopes and computers • Online demo of VS observation with audio explanation and an eyepiece view of the sky • Beginners book list book reviews online • Database replication to/from AAVSO web server with affiliate international VS organizations • Online credit card transactions • Use internet to shift AAVSO from monthly reporting to continuous reporting • Internet access to remote control telescopes reserved for VS observations by members. • Online software for CCD transformation coefficient

  8. Dave’s Ideas - 4 • Public domain software for CCD data reduction • Web pages for each AAVSO committee • Put educational materials developed for Hands-on-Astrophysics online • Provide home pages for members • Provide chat hotline; answer public questions about AAVSO and VSO • Online council election info and election balloting with password locking • Members only web pages with info and news • Switch from conventional publishing to online documents

  9. Dave’s Ideas - 5 • Dynamic web pages for individual variable stars • A/V simulations of all the basic types of variables • Audio presentation of observer calling HQ where Director answers phone; calls professional astronomer; pro then calls NASA to direct HST to the variable star in question • Mpgeg movie of life on a planet near a variable star monitored by the AAVSO during an outburst • Many more ideas in his original paper! He followed up with several more “white papers” on my request