The All Sky Automated Survey
The All Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) uses multi-pixel CCD detectors and low cost computers to monitor as many variable objects in the sky as feasible with current technology and the available funds. ASAS uses amateur scale instruments and mostly off the shelf hardware. The project has demonstrated that, even among stars brighter than 13 magnitude, 90% of variables have not been discovered yet. Using a 10-cm aperture it is possible to detect red giants across our Galaxy and to monitor huge numbers of variable stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Many of these stars are too bright for a 1-meter class telescope. The very low cost of ASAS hardware makes it accessible to amateurs and small colleges, assuming a complete software package is provided. It is expected that the project will keep growing exponentially with time, and will remain an ever-growing source of data for virtual observatories as well as a major source of alerts for new variable stars, AGNs, and asteroids.
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