Archive for November, 2013

Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award (2012)

November 17, 2013

In December 2012 I was humbled to receive the Bill Bradfield Astronomy Award.

From the ASSA awards page:

The award is named after Bill Bradfield, a Past President and Honorary Life Member of the Society and discoverer of 17 comets – the most comet discoveries by an amateur astronomer in the 20th century.

The description of my award on that page is as follows:

David received the Award for the creation and development of VStar. VStar is a variable star data visualisation and analysis software tool, which David has provided free to the astronomical community. Visit the VStar web site to download the software and for more information.

The physical award has been sitting next to my 2011 AAVSO Director’s award but it took awhile for the web page to be updated.

VStar cited in “Amplitude Variation in Pulsating Red Giants” papers

November 14, 2013

VStar was cited and made use of in two recent papers by John R. Percy and co-authors:

Date Compensated Discrete Fourier Transform (DCDFT) and Weighted Wavelet Z-Transform (WWZ) were used, DCDFT for period search, WWZ to look for amplitude variation over time within a period range. I was particularly happy to read the following in the acknowledgements sections:

We also thank the team which developed the VSTAR package, and made it user-friendly and publicly available.

The creation of a freely available, multi-platform, user-friendly tool was a central design goal. Thank you John, Viraja, and Romina for your use of VStar and kind words. Any feedback you might have on how to enhance VStar further will, of course, be gladly accepted.

Note that as an alternative (or in addition) to pointing to the AAVSO VStar page when citing VStar in a paper, I’d like to suggest that this paper be used:

Benn, D. 2012, “Algorithms + Observations = VStar”, JAAVSO, v40, n2, pp.852-866.

The paper can be found in eJAAVSO.

In any case, I’m pleased to see the adoption of VStar on the rise. It encourages me further to continue active development.

Turing CODEBREAKER film available

November 13, 2013

In November 2012 I posted about the centenary of Alan Turing’s birth and mentioned the film CODEBREAKER about his life and tragic death. It’s finally available for general sale!

Update: I’ve just ordered my copy; looking forward to having this resource!