The VSS was formed in 1890, the year the BAA was founded, with the aim of collecting and analysing observations of variable stars. The Section is run by a small group of Officers who deal with various aspects separately but meet at intervals to discuss and decide future plans and policy. Feedback to members is through the VSS Circulars published four times a year and through the BAA Journal.
Some section data up to 1934 was published as BAA Memoirs in the first half of the 20th century. Most records from 1890 to 1990 were kept as hand-written original reports and chronological lists. Recent section directors have initiated and supported the computerisation project and have gained finance and equipment from professional sources. Here is the list of directors from 1891 to the present.
A list of observers who have data in the BAAVSS database can be seen here
Further observations are reported via;-
The Astronomer A monthly magazine that aims to publish new observations in all fields of astronomy. Variable star summary reports concentrate on eruptive variables.
The Society for Popular Astronomy Formerly the JAS, the SPA encourages beginners to astronomy of all ages and its variable star section has a program that includes several bright variables that are logged in the BAAVSS database.
The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand collates and coordinates southern hemisphere observations. By a long-standing reciprocal agreement, the RASNZ and BAAVSS exchange observational data on selected Northern/Southern hemisphere variables.
For TA and SPA web pages follow links on the other Web Sites page.
As well as helping to monitor the activity of hundreds of variables and produce their light curves, the database enables the section to supply records to professional and amateur astronomers for analysis. Papers are published in the BAA Journal, the VSS Circulars and elsewhere. Anyone interested in section data for analysis should contact the Director.
The section has a number of introductory pamphlets available and some back-issues of the VSS Circulars all at nominal prices. See Section Publications and/or contact the Director. Some basic articles on various topics are provided here;-
What is a star? – basic spectra, magnitude, HR diagram
Constellations – list of names, genitives, IAU abbreviations
Variable star nomenclature – explanation of lettering & numbering
How low can you go? – observing down near the UK southern horizon
Analyses of Variable Star Observations – some factors illustrated
Why Observe Eclipsing Variables?
Telescopes & Observatories;-
My Observatory – Maurice Gavin
Jack Ells Automatic Photoelectric Telescope – Roger Pickard
My Observatory – Gary Poyner
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