Amateur astronomers and the new golden age of cataclysmic variable star astronomy

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Thursday, December 21, 2017

Jeremy Shears
(Submitted on 14 Dec 2017)

The study of cataclysmic variable stars has long been a fruitful area of co-operation between amateur and professional astronomers. In this Presidential Address, I shall take stock of our current understanding of these fascinating binary systems, highlighting where amateurs can still contribute to pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. I shall also consider the sky surveys that are already coming on stream, which will provide near continuous and exquisitely precise photometry of these systems. I show that whilst these surveys might be perceived as a threat to amateur observations, they will actually provide new opportunities, although the amateur community shall need to adapt and focus its efforts. I will identify areas where amateurs equipped for either visual observing or CCD photometry can make scientifically useful observations.

Comments:    42 pages, 26 Figures. BAA Presidential Address 2017. Accepted for publication in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Subjects:    Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)
Cite as:    arXiv:1712.05393 [astro-ph.SR] (or arXiv:1712.05393v1 [astro-ph.SR] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jeremy Shears
[v1] Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:51:22 GMT (2696kb)

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