ASOtitle

YOUR CONCISE REFERENCE GUIDE TO RESEARCH PROGRAM SOURCES

Available to the serious amateur astronomer

[note:  URL web addresses are always subject to change; if you cannot located via the URLs provided below, always GOOGLE!]

P. Clay Sherrod, Arkansas Sky Observatory (www.arksky.org)

also refer to comprehensive guides, formulae and discussions in the printing of:
** A COMPLETE MANUAL OF AMATEUR ASTRONOMY, by P. Clay Sherrod, Dover Books, Prentice-Hall Spring 2003 **
and throughout the GUIDES Section here on Arkansas Sky Observatories!
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SETTING ACCURATE TIME:  All astronomers must rely on very accurate time to set their telescopes and record all research observations. 

For the best accuracy in time, you should consult WWV time signals of Boulder, CO; from the link below you can provide a time link update to your computer as well:
   http://www.time.gov/  (this link is to the main page, but you can select your own Time Zone)

To convert Calendar date and time to JULIAN DATE (required for variable star and some other research programs) go to Arkansas Sky Observatory at:
    http://arksky.org/aso/online-tools
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IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE DISCOVERED a comet, asteroid or new novae/supernovae, BE SURE to confirm locally first with other astronomers and by consulting many great star charts and programs that are now available for the home computer.  If you have verified over two or more observations or images that you have an object that is "not supposed to be there" and is moving slowly against background stars (that is the best way to check....), then go to the Arkansas Sky Observatory guide under "Tools"
http://arksky.org/aso/online-tools
for further procedures to report a possible discovery (but please be careful....discoveries in our computerized all sky program world of today - operating 24/7 - are becoming VERY rare for even the most experienced observers!!)

OBSERVING TOOLS for many projects are available at the Arkansas Sky Observatory website, www.arksky.org .  In addition to daily updates, calendars of events and on-going reports of planets and comets in the sky, consult the Tools link for helpful links for all sky programs.
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The SUN

SUN - see:  http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/33-observing-the-sun  by Dr. Clay
potential research projects include:
    1) daily sunspot counts/numbers
    2) sunspot morphology development
* Website Address:  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):  
    http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/stp/solar/ssndata.html
* Website Address:, ALPO Solar Section:
    http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/solarblog/

DAILY SUNSPOT NUMBERS AND SUNSPOT DESIGNATIONS CAN BE OBTAINED AT:
        http://www.spaceweather.com/index.html
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The MOON - see:  http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/34-observing-the-moon by Dr. Clay
**NOTE:  for monthly occultation events of major interest, always consult the Arkansas Sky Montly "Events" at www.arksky.org
potential research projects include:
    1) occultations of stars, planets and asteroids by the moon - VERY good project for amateurs
        see: http://occultations.org/  for professional information on "how to" with this valuable program
    2) impact of the moon's surface of meteorites during major meteor storms (nice videotape project...also see METEORS below)
    3) "graze occulations" to determine the contour and altitude of lunar features (requires several observers over large area)
        see: http://www.poyntsource.com/IOTAmanual/Preview.htm
* Mailing Address, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Lunar Section:
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;
URL Link: http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/lunarblog/ (ALPO Lunar Section Web Page)

FOR LUNAR OCCULTATIONS - PREDICTIONS FOR YOUR AREA AND UPCOMING SPECIAL EVENTS see the Int'l Occultation Timing Association at:
    http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/occult4.htm
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METEORS - see: http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides?start=10  by Dr. Clay

**NOTE:  for monthly meteor shower details in YOUR area, always consult the Arkansas Sky Montly "Events" at:   http://arksky.org/calendar/calendar
Potential research projects include:
    1) observations of yearly annual meteor showers
    2) discovery of new meteor shower radiants
    3) accurate determination of radiants of new meteor showers
    4) assist in recovery and/or identification of suspected meteorite impacts in your local area

* Organization:  International Meteor Observations:
    http://www.imo.net/visual
    e-mail to: mailto:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

COMETS - see:  by Dr. Clay
daily visible comet updates available:
** to learn of all comets visible in most amateur telescopes at this time: http://arksky.org/comet-data  (Arkansas Sky Observatory Comet Database)
Potential research projects include:
    1) searches for new brighter cometes
    2) sky patrol of known comets to the limiting magnitude of YOUR telescope
    3) routine recording of brightness and comet morphology
    4) comet photography and CCD
    5) comet verification
     (see: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/LastCometObs.html   for a NEW DAILY LIST of all observable comets)

* Web Address,  Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Comets Section:
    http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/cometblog/
The Harvard/Smithsonial FORMAT for observing and reporting comets:  http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/info/TechInfo.html
URL Link: http://encke.jpl.nasa.gov/ (NASA Jet Propulsion Labs Comets Data)
URL Link: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/NEO/toconfirm_tabular.html - Listing of all new reported possible objects, including comets

http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/LastCometObs.html  - observable comets of 19th magnitude or greater
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/SoftwareEls.html - software for loading onto computers and/or Autostar-type telescope controllers
http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/cometblog/ (ALPO Web Page with contacts)

TO REPORT A COMETARY OR ASTEROID DISCOVERY: (please confirm - make sure - that you really have a "new" object first!): 
E-mail to   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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ASTEROIDS / NEOs - see: http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/31-observing-asteroids-and-comets  by Dr. Clay
Potential research projects include:
    1) asteroid intercept occultations program (requires several observers working together!)
       (see:  http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/dunhamnotes.htm for regular updates)
    2) visual or CCD photometry and colorimetry of asteroids
    3) bright asteroid occultations by the moon
    4) asteroid recovery program
    5) asteroid / Near Earth Objects (NEOs) confirmations
     (see: http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/NEO/toconfirm_tabular.html   for a NEW DAILY LIST of all objects that have been reported as "discovered" each day!!)
* Web Address, Minor Planet Center (Harvard University):  http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/mpc.html

http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/info/TechInfo.html - Harvard Minor Planet Center for reporting NEOs and unsual asteroids
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/lists/MPLists.html - Complete listing of prominent NEOs and unusual asteroidal objects
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/SoftwareEls.html - software for loading onto computers and/or Autostar-type telescope controllers
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JUPITER - see:   http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/35-observing-jupiter all by Dr. Clay
Potential research projects include:
    1) Drawings & strip sketches
    2) Digital photography and CCD
    3) Determinations of latitude and longitude by nightly drift
    4) radiometric observerations by Ham Radio operators

KEY CONTACTS:  Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO)
* Web Address, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Jupiter Section
    http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/jupiterblog/

*International Jupiter Watch, University of Arizona:
URL Link: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/IJW/

ASO Juipter Central Meridian Determination Tools:  http://arksky.org/aso/online-tools
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MARS - see:  http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-general-guides/29-aso-guide-to-observing-the-red-planet-mars  by Dr. Clay
Potential research projects include:
    1) melting of the polar ice caps - diminishing size and features
    2) planetary drawings: morphology development over time
    3) albedo studies:  melting ice caps vs. darkening of surface features
    4) the "blue clearing"
    5) global dust storms: discovery, observation and measurements of movement
* Web Address, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Mars Section
        http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/marsblog/

DAILY MARS  UPDATES (in season!) at NASA:
     http://mars.nasa.gov/news/whatsnew/
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SATURN / OTHER PLANETS - see:  http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/36-observing-saturn
Potential research projects (Saturn only) include:
    1) visibility of oval features near the equator in both SEB and NEB
    2) observations of ring "clumping" when rings are in "edge-on orientation" to Earth
    3) ring gaps and bright spots, transient ring features
    4) the "Bicolored Aspect" of Saturn's rings
* Web Address, Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers Saturn Section:
    http://www.alpo-astronomy.org/saturnblog/

URL Link:  http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rhill/alpo/sat.html
URL Link:  http://www.lpl.arizona.edu/~rhill/alpo/remplan.html (ALL OUTER PLANETS -Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
INTERNATIONAL OUTER PLANET WATCH:  http://www.ehu.eus/iopw/ (from collaboration with several universities)
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VARIABLE STARS - see:  http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/40-observing-variable-stars   by Dr. Clay
Potential research projects include:
    1) weekly observation of short period MIRA or CEPHEID variable stars
    2) daily observations of cataclysmic variable stars
    3) determinations of personal light curves over long periods
    4) CCD photometry via computer
    5) search for new variable stars
For AAVSO observing manual: https://www.aavso.org/observers
Mailing Address: American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO):

25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
Tel (617) 354-0484 Fax (617) 354-0665
URL Link:  http://www.aavso.org
For Free Variable Star Charts (allows you to create custom charts for any variable star):  https://www.aavso.org/apps/vsp/
*FOR VS NET (Variable star and novae daily updates and information/charts, etc.)
    http://vsnet.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp/vsnet/index.html

ASO Converter from Calendar Date to Julian Date (required by AAVSO):  http://arksky.org/aso/online-tools
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SUPERNOVAE SEARCH - see: http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/30-searching-for-nova-and-supernovae   by Dr. Clay
potential research projects include:
    1) confirmation of reported supernovae in remote galaxies
    2) routine search program of selected galaxies for supernovae discovery
    3) photometry of supernovae and development of light curves
Web Address:  AAVSO 
URL Link: https://www.aavso.org/how-report-new-variable-star-discoveries   (AAVSO Novae and Supernovae Divisions)
    e-mail to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
*FOR VS NET (Variable star and novae daily updates and information/charts, etc.)
    http://vsnet.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp/vsnet/index.html

FOR COMPLETE GUIDE TO SUPERNOVAE SEARCH (Arkansas Sky Observatory):
http://arksky.org/aso/aso-guides/aso-observational-guides/30-searching-for-nova-and-supernovae
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"WISHING YOU THE BEST IN OBSERVING AND MAY ALL YOUR ASTRONOMICAL DISCOVERIES BE RICH AND BRIGHT......"
Dr. Clay
Arkansas Sky Observatory / www.arksky.org
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