Arne Henden

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Arne Henden is an American observational astronomer and instrument/software specialist. He currently serves as Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers.

Birth and family[edit]

Henden was born in Huron, South Dakota, but as the son of an engineer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he would call several places home as he grew up with his parents and two sisters.

First Look Toward the Stars[edit]

Henden's first astronomical brush happened when he had a chance to look at Saturn through the 24" Clarke refractor at the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.


Henden gained his Bachelor of Science in Astrophysics in 1972, and his Masters in Physics in 1975 both from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In 1978 he continued to gain a Masters of Science in 1978 and a Ph.D. in 1985 in Astronomy, both from the Indiana University Bloomington.

Post Doctoral Work[edit]

Henden moved to Ohio State University to work on the Large Binocular Telescope after gaining his doctorate. He also built several imagers and spectrographs for the 1.8m Perkins telescope.

Henden returned to the site where his love of astronomy started when in 1992 Henden started work at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Flagstaff Station as a Senior Research Scientist. Here Henden specialized in visual and near-IR imaging systems. He was part of the team that created specifications for the Discovery Channel's 4.2m telescope. He has also worked on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and consulted for the Radio Astronomy Institute in developing a robotic observatory near the Grand Canyon.

In the Spring of 2004 Henden was named Director of the American Association of Variable Star Observers, an organization he had long been a member of.


Henden has authored more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed publications as either primary or co-author. Henden has also positioned himself as a specialist in photometry by writing one of the classic texts in the subject: Astronomical Photometry (1978: Willman-Bell)

Pro-Am Work[edit]

Henden has worked extensively with amateurs interested in variable stars and minor planet astrometry mainly through the AAVSO.


On 18 September 2005, the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center named Minor Planet (33529) Henden for Dr. Henden.[1]


  1. ^ "Minor Planets Circular 79711" (PDF). Minor Planet Center. September 18, 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-14. 

External links[edit]