Stella Kafka

Director, American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)

"Observing Variable Stars"

“The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is a non-profit worldwide scientific and educational organization of amateur and professional astronomers who are interested in stars that change in brightness—variable stars. Their mission is to enable anyone, anywhere, to participate in scientific discovery through variable star astronomy. Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability, both intrinsic and extrinsic, is used to discover exoplanets, provide unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, help determine distances to nearby galaxies and add to our understanding of explosion physics and chemical enrichment of the universe. Stella Kafka, the Director of the AAVSO will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. She will also discuss how you can participate in cutting-edge science observational astronomy projects and be part of the Discovery process."