Special Notice #285: Outburst of old nova X Ser
31 May 2012: As announced by Robert Modic (Richmond Heights, OH) 2012 May 30 in the aavso-photometry discussion group (http://www.aavso.org/pipermail/aavso-photometry/) and subsequently reported in vsnet-alert 14629, the old slow nova X Ser (Nova Ser 1903) is in outburst. This outburst is likely a dwarf nova-like outburst, similar to the one seen in 2009, which was the first reported since the nova outburst in 1903.
Modic discovered X Ser in outburst on images taken 2012 May 30 with the AAVSOnet K35 telescope (Krajci 35cm, Astrokolkhoz Observatory, NM).
The outburst was confirmed by Roger Pickard (Leominster, England), who reported in a 2012 May 31 posting to the aavso-photometry discussion group an observation made in "appalling conditions" with the Faulkes Telescope South at magnitude ~14.87 V on 2012 May 31.5983 UT.
As noted by Modic, observations from 2012 May 18, 20, and 26 in the AAVSO International Database by Shawn Dvorak (Clermont, FL) show X Ser rising to maximum.
Nova Serpentis, which reached a maximum of photographic magnitude 8.9 in May 1903, was actually discovered by Henrietta Leavitt in 1908 on a Harvard College Observatory plate and was announced by her as HV 3137.
The previous dwarf nova-like outburst was discovered 2009 August 18 by Etienne Morelle (Lauwin-Plancque, France) with X Ser at magnitude 14.83 (filter unknown); it brightened to visual magnitude 14.2, and was brighter than magnitude 16.4 until 2009 September 10. X Ser is <17.0 at minimum. As seen in GK Per (Nova Per 1901), these dwarf nova-like outbursts signal the reconstruction of the accretion disk which was destroyed in the nova explosion.
Observations reported to the AAVSO include:
2012 May 03.3828 UT, <16.4 V +/-0.4 (S. Dvorak, Clermont, FL);
18.2125, 16.1 V +/-0.1 (Dvorak);
20.1936, 15.77 V +/-0.08 (Dvorak);
26.3580, 15.28 V +/-0.07 (Dvorak);
30.2232, 15.075 B +/-0.025 (R. Modic, Richmond Heights, OH, remotely with AAVSOnet K35 telescope);
30.2265, 14.806 V +/-0.029 (Modic, AAVSOnet K35);
31.5983, 14.87 V (R. Pickard, Leominster, England, remotely with Faulkes Telescope South);
Visual, CCD, and spectroscopic observations are encouraged throughout the outburst.
Coordinates: 16 19 17.68 -02 29 29.6 (2000.0)
Charts for X Ser may be created using the AAVSO Variable Star Plotter (http://www.aavso.org/vsp).
Observations should be reported to the AAVSO International Database as X SER.
This AAVSO Special Notice was compiled by Elizabeth O. Waagen.
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