For a number of years, the AMS has supported beginning visual observers of meteors by providing brief observing directions, charts, forms and other materials upon receipt of an initial dues payment and we will continue to do this. Many beginning observers can make accurate observations, but lack the background to do the data reduction once the observations are made. The AMS does not have a formal training program, but will continue to support willing observers with information and publications outlining ways in which their data compilations can be made to conform with professional standards. The AMS will also continue to actively support and look for ways in which to modernize our traditional Visual Program. All AMS observers will be encouraged to achieve the highest skill level possible, and to look for new and better ways of gathering accurate visual meteor data.
In recent years, advances in technology have made it possible for amateur meteor observers with fairly modest equipment to achieve professional-quality results and it is in these areas that the AMS Ltd. will concentrate its main efforts. We hope to help coordinate amateur-professional activities among observers who are too widely scattered to permit the usual close working relationships found in local groups.
We are interested mainly in visual, CCD camera, and radio observations of:
- sporadic meteor rates
- meteor shower rates
- meteor magnitude and other property distributions
Because of its endowment, the American Meteor Society Ltd. is now in a unique position to sponsor those activities which emphasize applications of modern technology to meteor astronomy and plan to distribute modest grants to qualified persons, with first priority to its affiliates, working in these areas.
- Statistical data reduction of visual meteor plots and counts
- Image processing of CCD frames with meteor images
- Radioscatter detection of meteors
- high quality spectroscopy of meteors
- Publication of monographs in meteoric astronomy and related areas
Finally, the AMS Ltd. will continue to investigate new and improved ways of communicating with both our AMS affiliates and the general public. While we are generally too scattered to hold regular annual meetings, we strongly advise affiliates who live near one another to get together. New affiliate groups are always welcome. As resources permit, affiliates will also be encouraged to link electronically through E-mail and our World Wide Web site. The Internet offers great opportunities for us with regard to rapid communication and data exchange, and we shall continue to pursue this area.