In Celebration of Citizen Science
The end of the calendar year marks an end and a beginning for many cycles, among them the annual bird count conducted by the Audubon Society - this year being their 110th census, making it the longest-running volunteer or citizen science effort. Results of the Christmas Bird Count are being used to gauge climate change effects, among many other purposes. Many birders are also avid astronomers, sharing a love of observing and recording data. AAVSO - the American Association of Variable Star Observers - comes in a close second at 98 years, for conducting one of the longest running citizen science activities as well. The millions of observations reported to AAVSO are useful for all kinds of astrophysical studies, including this focus on epsilon Aurigae. Perhaps more importantly, it means that millions of time people have stopped to look up at the wonders of the cosmos, think about what they saw, and left a data record, before resuming the next day's grind for survival. Thank you for participating in this grand effort, and if you are not already a member of AAVSO, please considering joining us!