By Thomas R. Williams
Based in 1911, the AAVSO boasts over 1200 contributors and observers and is the world's greatest non-profit association devoted to variable megastar remark. This well timed booklet marks the AAVSO's centennial yr, providing an authoritative and exact heritage of this significant organization. Writing in a fascinating and obtainable kind, the authors circulate chronologically via 5 eras of the AAVSO, discussing the evolution of its constitution and objective. in the course of 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 beginner astronomers, the authors have fun the collaborative relationships that experience existed through the years. because the definitive background of the 1st hundred years of the AAVSO, this article has wide allure and may be of curiosity to novice astronomers, in addition to historians and sociologists of technological know-how normally.
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Extra info for Advancing Variable Star Astronomy: The Centennial History of the American Association of Variable Star Observers
Leonard, president; John E. Mellish, secretary; Horace C. Levinson, treasurer; and Ruel W. Roberts, organizer and lecturer. ” The invitation went out to amateurs who are “so willing to do all they can to advance Practical Astronomy . . ”69 The beginnings of a technical organization emerged slowly, with sections devoted to the planets, variable stars, and other observational topics such as spectroscopy and instruments. Leonard maintained a steady flow of announcements in Popular Astronomy. He was successful in attracting more adults to the organization, although many may not have suspected that the founders/co-editors of the SPA journal were only teenagers.
F. Maxwell, Miss M. Mueller, R. B. Potter, C. A. Mundstock, Father A. Petrajtys, F. C. Leonard, H. F. 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.
Hale wanted to attract the emerging astrophysicists who were unable to publish their work in Gould’s Astronomical Journal. According to Donald Osterbrock, this new journal led to the creation of The Astrophysical Journal and Popular Astronomy. 27 His “untechnical” publication soon attracted amateur astronomers like Paul S. 29 Although aimed at an amateur audience, his articles contained considerable detail, such as the positions of 18 short-period variables, elements of variation, a finder chart, a table of comparison stars and light steps, and a table of mean values from his own reduced observations.