Networking of Small Astronomical Telescope Facilities in Education and Research Programmes on Subjects such as Variable Stars and Near-Earth Objects
The trend towards larger and larger telescopes has led to discussion about the future of the many smaller telescopes. Not all science can be carried out in a few nights on a giant telescope. At the same time, advances in automation and communication open up far more efficient and time-saving methods of observation, enabling very large datasets to be obtained and handled. Small telescopes allow a much larger community to participate in and carry out real science. Amateurs and students can become part of the scientific community and can contribute in a significant way in some areas of astrophysics. In this paper, I will discuss modern studies of variable stars and briefly mention monitoring of the sky for Near Earth Objects and other special events.