If you are new to the AAVSO you probably found this site because you have some interest in astronomy. As the name AAVSO might imply, we occupy a special niche in the astronomical community focusing specifically on variable stars. However, If you aren't what a variable star is or why people observe them then start here.
If that sounds interesting then you have come to the right place. We have a full repertoire to help you learn more about these unique objects:
Variable Stars and the Stories They Tell: Exoplanets and the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
©February 2018 by Dale Alan Bryant
(In memory of M.I.T. astrophysicist Dr. Philip Morrison - who started all this...)
Though the figures are tough to keep up with - they are changing, almost daily - the Kepler Space Telescope (KST) has discovered, to date, over 4,500 exoplanet candidates, ~3,400+ of which have been confirmed.
The AAVSO is building a suite of tutorials and documents aimed at those with absolutely no experience with variable stars and very little astronomical experience of any kind. These tutorials walk you through a basic concept of variable star science and then provide a list of challenges to apply the concepts.
Our own Donna Young has created an educational activity about variable stars on the HR Diagram. The activity is designed for formal K-16 educators and includes a teacher's guide, background material, student activities and answer keys.
However, the activity is also a great learning tool for those new to variable stars. It will introduce many of the most important types of variable stars and describe how they are related to other types. The genius of HR Diagrams is how they place everything in context of the grand scheme of things.
From John Percy, Editor, JAAVSO: