I was very happy, and humbled, to be told this week that I’m the recipient of the 2011 AAVSO Director’s Award for leading the development of VStar, an open source variable star data visualisation and analysis tool. It’s humbling when you look at the predecessors of the award.
If you want to try VStar, just click the green Download button on the SourceForge page. If you have Java 1.6 or higher installed on your Windows, Mac, Linux, or OpenSolaris machine, the latest version of VStar will be downloaded and run (via Java Web Start technology).
VStar is still an active, ongoing project. There’s plenty left to do. One key area of focus right now is the addition of a modelling capability and more period analysis functionality. If you are a developer looking for an interesting Science-related project to contribute to, try it out and have a look at the SourceForge bug & issue tracker to see if anything interests you.
Data analysis (e.g. finding periods in variable star data) is a growth area for amateur astronomers. VStar is growing into a tool that makes that easier to get into.
Now, back to coding…