Upcoming Events

Second Saturday Program

Pulsating Variable Stars and the
Collaboration of Amateur and Professional Astronomers

Saturday, February 11, 6:30 PM

Light curve of χ Cygni over five years.
Created using the AAVSO light curve generator tool.
Image credit: Lithopsian, via Wikipedia

Unlike other sciences, in astronomy amateurs play a much larger role in new discoveries and the line between amateur and professional astronomers can sometimes be blurred. The study of variable stars has benefited greatly from the data gathering skills of many people for whom astronomy is a hobby. These can be visual observations all the way to modern digital photometry. Of particular interest are short period pulsating stars that can complete an entire cycle of brightness changes in under 1 hour. Prof. Eric Hintz will discuss the nature of some of these stars and how amateurs with small telescopes can provide the time coverage needed to more fully understand them. The configurations of 6 robotic telescopes on the BYU campus, used for variable star studies, will also be discussed.

Eric Hintz is currently the associate chair of the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Brigham Young University. He is also the section leader for Short Period Pulsating Stars at the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). He began studying pulsating variable stars approximately 35 years ago while an undergraduate student. He also still enjoys running telescopes at public star parties and for students in descriptive astronomy classes.

If weather permits there will be a star party following the presentation.

This program is free and open to the public.
You can attend either in-person or virtually via Zoom.

Either way you prefer to attend, your donation makes these monthly programs possible.
Please support science through the lens of astronomy!

To attend in person: This event will be held at the Edwin E. Ritchie Observatory at Skinner Road and Battle Point Drive.
A map to the Ritchie Observatory can be found here.

Advance registration is required for the live-streamed virtual event via Zoom.
To register, please click this link.

After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with the Zoom link for joining the virtual meeting.

Planetarium Events

Text for planetarium events.

Cosmic Conversations

A New Monthly event at the BPAA Observatory

7:00 – 8:30 PM on the 3rd Tuesday of the month

Please support our programs by donating here.
Thank you!

Back to top