Welcome (again) to the Long Period Variables Section!

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Tue, 10/17/2023 - 03:56

Over the years there have been a few "Welcome to the LPV Section" in the LPV Forum. These are well written posts and the most recent one, I think, was written by Dr. Matt Templeton. Matt did a fine job of soliciting the observations of LPVs and their importance. I hope to do as well, and go beyond, Matt's posting beginning very soon. First, I want to introduce myself. I am a co-leader of the LPV Section, and a rather new one at that. There's a lot of history I have to yet learn and there's much I have yet to learn about the numerous LPV types, observing techniques, and instrumentation. But I've been an AAVSO member for over 25 years and performed visual observing of different types of LPVs for some years. In the meantime I participated in a professional team that computationally and theoretically modeled LPVs and Short Period Variables (SPVs). In recent years I have been observing various LPVs with CCD-equipped instruments. However, I am not an "expert" -- much left to learn and do. I hope to use this Forum as the primary communication tool for us, the observers, and exchange some ideas and proposals on what projects to undertake as a section, and, quite importantly, ask and answer questions amongst us. I would also like to try using Webinars and online meetings occasionally as another comm tool. These have been working rather well for the other AAVSO sections. I'll break off this first post with a suggestion for interested observers to look into a new effort known as the SNEWS project: Supernova Early Warning System Project. The major goal is to find and observe progenitor stars of core collapse supernovae stars and learn as much as possible about before any of them might go supernova (soon perhaps!). For LPV folks we could gather a lot of data to identify new LPVs (e.g. red supergiants) and to gather photometry of those on the target list that are known to be LPVs but not well observed. I suggest those interested take a look at https://www.aavso.org/snews-campaign. An AAVSO observing campaign is being organized now with observers taking on assigned stars in the SNEWS target list. The targets  are all bright and lend themselves to visual and PEP observers. Let me know your thoughts and if you might participate. Thank you! Mike Soukup