I must speak for all the professional astronomers here in saying that I am most impressed by the contributions made at this IAU Colloquium by amateur astronomers. I spoke earlier of the contacts between amateur astronomers and the IAU Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams and Minor Planet Center, particularly with regard to discoveries of comets, novae, supernovae and minor planets. But I also spoke of the great importance of follow-up observations and computations. Janet Mattei has quoted Fran Cordoba’s remark that “discoveries belong to those who keep vigil on them”. It is difficult to deny that the routine of follow-up lacks the glamor associated with making a spectacular discovery, but such discoveries are few and far between, and we need to give greater credit to the unsung heroes who go steadily about this work. Even if all the professional astronomers in the world wanted to pursue this routine, there would not be enough of them to monitor everything that needs to be watched. This is precisely where the amateur comes in.
KeywordsSolar Eclipse Variable Star Double Star Minor Planet Cometary Dust
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