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Special Notice #115: Request for observations of Eta Carinae

July 31, 2008

J.C. Martin (U. Illinois-Springfield) et al. recently noted in IAU Circular 8961 the appearance of broad He II emission lines in the spectrum of the luminous blue variable Eta Carinae. Such spectral changes are an early precursor of the cyclical spectroscopic events that occur in eta Carinae every 5.5 years, and are expected to occur again in early 2009.  Increased observational coverage of eta Car -- including both visual estimates and high-precision photometry -- are encouraged beginning now and continuing through 2009 at least.  We note that this star is currently a part of the AAVSO Photoelectric Photometry program; please use SAO 238242 (V = 5.075) as the comparison star and SAO 238483 (V = 6.470) as the check star if you are using the PEPObs data submission tool in Blue & Gold.

Please submit data to the AAVSO as "ETA CAR" (AUID 000-BBR-655).

Charts for Eta Carinae may be generated with VSP: http://www.aavso.org/observing/charts/vsp/index.html?pickname=eta%20car

This AAVSO Special Notice was prepared by Matthew Templeton.

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