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Advancing Variable Star Astronomy: The Centennial History of the American Association of Variable Star Observers 1st Edition
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"Advancing Variable Star Astronomy is an insightful history of the development of variable star observing in America over the past century that is wonderfully imbued with the feelings and motivations of the various individuals involved in the conception and evolution of the AAVSO, dating from prior to its creation in 1911 to the present. The authors, with their lengthy personal involvement in the AAVSO, have drawn upon available documents and correspondence to infuse the contents with their impressions of the feelings and motivations of the various individuals involved, thereby breathing life into what might otherwise have become a mere recital of names, numbers and dates from the past. But Advancing Variable Star Astronomy is not simply a historical rendering of the AAVSO's first century; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the development of the various branches of observational astronomy, particularly as they apply to the study of variable stars, and the interpersonal relationships that arose between individuals of often disparate temperament. The picture presented is that of an organization that is more dynamic and useful today then it was a century ago when it began as a gentleman's club of mostly amateur observers with small refracting telescopes interested in making observations, initially of long period variables, useful for learning more about the nature of stellar light variability." David G. Turner, Professor, St. Mary's University, Canada
"The pages of this marvelous book are like dipping into magic waters. Intertwined in the story of how stars behave is the story of the first century of the world's largest organization dedicated to observing variable stars. This is a tale of ideas, anguish, and discovery, from the smallest telescopes to the great telescopes in space. I recommend this book very highly." Dr David H. Levy, Amateur astronomer, comet discoverer, and author
"Much of what we know about variable stars is due to the unsung heroics of a host of amateur astronomers keeping lonely vigils over them in backyard observatories with small telescopes, with remarkably little recognition for their efforts, and with no satisfaction other than the sense of having added their scintilla to the sum of human knowledge. This superbly researched and elegantly written book, published in the year of the centennial of the founding of the AAVSO, is a landmark volume that will be enjoyed by anyone who has ever looked up and wondered at the night sky. It is a compelling tale, well told; I for one couldn't put it down." Dr William Sheehan, Amateur astronomer and author
"This is the definitive history book on the AAVSO which today is firmly established as the primary facilitator for photometric data on variable stars. The book also serves as an outline history of variable star discovery and research worldwide from its beginnings at the end of the sixteenth Century. With scientific researchers relying more and more upon amateur astronomers to provide photometry of variable stars the future of the AAVSO is assured. The captivating writing style of Williams and Saladyga in conjunction with the comprehensive research undertaken makes for a most compelling read." John Toone, British Astronomical Association, Variable Star Section
"This book was a fascinating read." Tony Markham, Astronomy Now
"is a well-researched, carefully-written and beautifully-illustrated volume that will long remain a classic in the history of variable star astronomy." - Wayne Orchiston, Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
"I highly recommend this book to those interested in the changing partnership between amateur and professional astronomy from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries." - Horace Smith, Journal for the History of Astronomy, Aug 2012