Sky & Telescope's
AstroAlert News Service
In collaboration with key organizations of amateur and professional astronomers, Sky & Telescope has established the AstroAlert e-mail news service to alert small-telescope users to significant happenings in the sky -- those that involve especially rare events or require immediate follow-up observations worldwide. AstroAlert uses the popular Majordomo mailing-list software.
You can read about the genesis of AstroAlert in the August 1999 issue of Sky & Telescope. In the article "Supernovae, Neutrinos, and Amateur Astronomers," S&T editor Leif Robinson tells how amateurs tipped off by AstroAlert can help find the next nearby supernova.
"We hope this omnibus service will encourage skywatchers to try new things: variable-star observers may be teased to explore a dust storm on Mars; comet aficionados may be tempted to watch the star Mira go through maximum brightness. And wouldn’t you like to know about the huge solar flare that may paint your sky with an auroral display?"
To receive announcements about any type of object or event, just send an e-mail message to the appropriate address below. (Type "subscribe" in the body of the message to get on the distribution list and "unsubscribe" to get off.) You can subscribe to any or all of these services. To subscribe or unsubscribe to multiple AstroAlert lists with a minimum of hassle, please use the Subscribe Form or Unsubscribe Form, respectively. To change the address to which your AstroAlert notices are sent, you may use the Change-of-Address Form. If you ever forget which lists you've subscribed to, click here for a reminder. PRIVACY NOTICE: E-mail addresses submitted to AstroAlert will not be used for any other purpose, nor will they be sold to or shared with third parties.
- Comets: email@example.com
- Extragalactic supernovae: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Gamma-ray bursters: email@example.com
- Meteors: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Minor planets: email@example.com
- Neutrino-detected supernovae: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Novae: email@example.com
- Occultations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Planets: email@example.com
- Solar Activity/Auroras/Geophysical Phenomena: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Variable stars: email@example.com
AstroAlert is not a bulletin board or discussion forum. It's a "read-only" system -- alerts will come from Sky & Telescope or one of their partners (see below) and will contain instructions for how, and to whom, to report observations. Any postings from list subscribers will bounce into cyber-oblivion.
To learn more about using Majordomo on this server, visit the Majordomo help page. To learn more about the kinds of messages that will be posted to AstroAlert, visit the list information page.
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In addition to Sky & Telescope, the following organizations will post alerts. To find out more about what they do, check out their Web sites at the URLs given.
American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) is the largest organization of its kind, specializing in long-period and eruptive variable stars (www.aavso.org).
Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers (ALPO) studies all kinds of solar-system objects and phenomena, from the Sun to meteors (www.lpl.arizona.edu/alpo).
British Astronomical Association (BAA), the world’s most diverse amateur research organization, has sections dedicated to virtually all astronomical events (www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~baa).
Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA) specializes in professional-quality photometry campaigns involving cataclysmic variable stars (www.astro.bio2.edu/cba/).
International Meteor Organization (IMO) is the dominant clearing-house for the study of particles that strike the Earth’s atmosphere (www.imo.net).
International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) provides accurate predictions and professional analyses for lunar, planetary, and asteroid events (www.anomalies.com/iotaweb/index.htm).
Partners in Discovery, a NASA initiative, aims to involve amateur scientists in research arenas such as astrobiology and astronomy. It will contribute information about solar activity and astronomical happenings of interest to ham radio operators (science.nasa.gov).
SuperNova Early Warning System (SNEWS) is a creation of astronomers working with the world's major neutrino observatories. SNEWS hopes to provide early warning of the next gravitational-collapse supernova in our galaxy, based on the coincidence of prompt neutrino signals from detectors around the globe (hep.bu.edu/~snnet).
VSNET is an international mailing list for variable star observers. (www.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp/vsnet/)
The Amateur Sky Survey (TASS) aims to discover new objects and phenomena by keeping a large piece of sky under surveillance with CCD-equipped cameras (www.tass-survey.org/tass/tass.shtml).
The Astronomer is a monthly publication specializing in reporting auroras, meteors, lunar and planetary phenomena, solar activity, and variable stars (www.demon.co.uk/astronomer).
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