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Alert Notice 217: Brightening of 0059+53 Nova Cassiopeiae 1995 AND Request to monitor dwarf nova 0103+59 HT Cassiopeiae AND Request to monitor 2138+43 SS Cygni [V723 Cas]

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VARIABLE STAR OBSERVERS
25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
INTERNET: aavso@aavso.org
Tel. 617-354-0484 FAX 617-354-0665 

AAVSO ALERT NOTICE 217 (November 16,1995)

BRIGHTENING OF 0059+53 NOVA CASSIOPEIAE 1995

N Cas 95 (see AAVSO Alert Notices 213 and 214) has started to brighten, by about half a
magnitude in October as the observations in the accompanying light curve show. Our thanks go
to all observers who have been observing this very ihterestmg nova and reporting their
observations to AAVSO Headquarters. The optical behavior of N Cas 95 continues to appear
quite similar to the early stages of the slow nova HR Del (N De1 1967), whose light curve from
the AAVSO archives was published in AAVSO Alert Notice 214.

There has been quite a discussion as to the nature of this interesting slow nova, N Cas 95. U.
Munari, Asiago Observatory, Padua, and A. Lepardo, R. Passuello, and G. Sostero,
Associazione Friulana di Astronomia e Meteorologia, in IAU Circular 6259 and in their
message to vsnet, state that their spectroscopic and photometric observations obtained with the
Asiago 1.82-m telescope show features that may classify this object not with classical novae but
with symbiotic novae (similar to PU Vul). H. W. Duerbeck, in his message to vsnet, indicates
that this object shows more similarity to HR Del than to symbiotic novae with respect to the
optical and spectroscopic behavior. He states that N Cas 95 may still be considered to be in its
premaximum phase, and, based on the available information, classifies it still as a slow nova.

Observers are strongly recommended to continue to monitor the behavior of N Cas 95, and to
report their observations to AAVSO Headquarters, indicating which comparison stars were
used.

REQUEST TO MONITOR DWARF NOVA 0103+59 HT CASSIOPEIAE

The interesting dwarf nova HT Cas is scheduled to be observed with the Hubble Space
Telescope on November 23 for about 15 hours, and our assistance has been requested in
monitoring this star closely. Below is a request we have received from Dr. W. Welch, Keele
University:

"On November 23, the Hubble Space Telescope is scheduled to observe the dwarf nova HT
Cas. I encourage observers to pay particular attention to this system for the next two weeks.

"HT Cas is a faint, eclipsing CV [cataclysmic variable], with a V magnitude of about 16.5 when
in quiescence. Sometimes it falls into a low state (< 17 mag), and on very rare occasions it will
go into outburst (as bright as 10.8 mag). The eclipses, which occur every 106 minutes, are about
2 magnitudes deep (when in the 'normal' quiescent state.

"When analysing the HST data, it will be important to know what state the system was in during
the time of the observations (quiescent, low, or outburst), and this is where your observations
can make a significant contribution. Even upper limits (non-detections) are useful because
they show that the system is not in outburst.

"Please try to record the time of your observations as accurately as possible; the eclipse of the
white dwarf only takes 40 seconds, and the entire eclipse lasts < 6 minutes; things happen fast
and you can be fooled if you're not careful!

"Though HT Cas is a faint and difficult target, I encourage you to observe this important CV.
Much of our understanding of the details of CVs and accretion discs comes from systems like
this (e.g. Z Cha and OY Car), and HT Cas seems eager to reveal its secrets. As Joe Patterson
put it, 'HT Cas is truly the Rosetta Stone of dwarf novae...' (1981 ApJS 45, 517)."

Dr. Welch provides the following ephemeris for the eclipses:

  HJD (mid-eclipse) = 2443727.93721 + 0.0736472039E days

The last recorded outburst of HT Cas in the AAVSO International Database was in February
1987, when it reached magnitude 12.6 at maximum. Since then, the visual observations have
been all fainter-thans - mostly fainter than 15.5 to 16.0.

R. Zissell, S. Hadley, MA, has been observing HT Cas with CCD(V) between 16.2 and 17.8 in
1995, and P. Van Cauteren, Aartselaar, Belgium, observed with unfiltered CCD between 17.4
and 17.7 in August 1995.

Accompanying is an 'f' scale AAVSO preliminary chart of HT Cas. Please use this chart in
making observations, and report your observations to AAVSO Headquarters. Those observers
with CCDs are strongly encouraged to monitor HT Cas, particularly to go after the eclipses
using the above ephemeris.

REQUEST TO MONITOR 2138+43 SS CYGNI

The dwarf nova SS Cyg will be observed with the Japanese satellite ASCA on November 27,
and our assistance has been requested by astronomers at the University of Leicester to monitor
SS Cyg during this time so that their x-ray observations may be correlated with the optical data.
Presently, SS Cyg is fading from an outburst that started on November 1.

The goal of the ASCA observations is to observe SS Cyg in quiescence. The ASCA
observations were initially scheduled for November 16. Thanks to the observations you have
been reporting of the outburst of SS Cyg, we were able to inform the astronomers that SS Cyg is
still in outburst, and they were able to have the date of the ASCA observations changed -
without your observations they would have observed SS Cyg on November 16 and it would not
have been in the quiescent state they needed.

Please continue to observe SS Cyg and report your observations to AAVSO Headquarters.

CHARTS AVAILABLE ON AAVSO FTP SITE

Chart links are obsolete; 11/2013 create charts using VSP at http://www.aavso.org/vsp

We have prepared electronic copies of the AAVSO chart of HT Cas and the light curve of N
Cas 95 mentioned in this Alert Notice. They are available from our FT? site:

   ftp.aavso.org (198.116.78.2), in /pub/alert217

WARNING TO ELECTRONIC USERS

The current US federal budget impasse may affect our Internet access - beginning tonight, our
Internet account (at AAVSO and on the FTP site) may NOT be accessible, and may remain
inaccessible until the impasse is resolved. Please download any charts or light curves from the
FTP site as soon as possible in case the service is interrupted. Should our account become
inaccessible, we would not be able to receive your emailed observations; please telephone or
fax them instead. We apologize for any inconvenience you may experience!

The answering machine at AAVSO Headquarters is on nights and weekends for your
convenience. Please call our charge-free number (800-642-3883) to report your observations.
We also encourage observers to send observations by fax to 617-354-0665 or by e-mail through
the Internet to observationsQa aavso.org.

Many thanks for your significant astronomical observations and efforts.

Good observing!

Janet A. Mattei
Director

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