Arne Henden received his doctorate from Indiana University, and subsequently worked for Goddard Space Flight Center, The Ohio State University, and the U.S. Naval Observatory as an instrumentation specialist. He was the Director of the American Association of Variable Stars for the last decade of his career, retiring to New Hampshire, where he runs several automated telescopes. He is the author of a textbook and several hundred scientific articles and has given lectures worldwide.
In 2002, Nick Brown discovered Nova Monoceros 2002, later named V838 Mon. The nova reached magnitude 10 and stayed there for three weeks. It then brightened to 6th magnitude, evolved dramatically in temperature and developed a light echo. In a few months, it faded to 16th magnitude and was basically forgotten by the community. This paper will describe what has happened in the intervening 19 years, and why V838 Mon is an object that you should put on your observing list.
The AAVSO has been operating AAVSOnet, a robotic telescope system, for well over a decade. It started with half-meter telescopes in the north (Arizona) and south (Mt. John), but when funding became available to support Citizen Science efforts on the epsilon Aurigae eclipse, we expanded into small robotic telescopes that could be placed in typical backyards in urban environments to monitor bright stars. This talk will cover the history of AAVSOnet, how you can use the network, and hints and techniques for building your own robotic system.