Variable stars have always been the most intriguing (and fun) targets for observers, professional and amateur alike. Stellar variability provides unique insights in critical stages of stellar evolution, helps determine distances to nearby galaxies, and adds to our understanding of explosion physics and the Milky Way's chemical enrichment. I will introduce some of the most common aspects of stellar variability and their significance in astrophysics. I will discuss their common light curves identifiers and present work by AAVSO observers, leading to cutting-edge scientific discoveries throughout the years. Finally, I will discuss how you can participate in variable star observations from your back yard, contributing to the AAVSO International Database and cutting-edge science.
Speaker: Stella Kafka, American Association of Variable Star Observers
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