June 18, 2015: V404 Cyg, an X-ray nova and a low mass X-ray binary (LMXB) with black hole component, is undergoing its first reported X-ray and optical outburst since 1989. Large scale, rapid variations are being reported in wavelengths from X-ray to radio by professional and amateur astronomers worldwide.
June 15, 2015: Nova Sgr 2015 No. 2 (PNV J18365700-2855420; see AAVSO Alert Notice 512) is undergoing a significant fading visually as its infrared excess increases, indicating that substantial dust production is underway.
April 15, 2015: Dr. Fabienne A. Bastien (Hubble Postdoctoral Fellow, Pennsylvania State University) has requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring the rare FU Ori object 2MASS J06593158-0405277 as part of a campaign to observe this T Tauri star from the optical to the infrared in the coming weeks.
April 2, 2015: Dr. Axel Schwope (Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam, Germany) has requested AAVSO observers' assistance in monitoring the magnetic variable AM Her in support of upcoming XMM-Newton plus NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) observations.
The XMM-Newton observations are scheduled for 2015 April 06 02:37:02-15:07:02 UT. The NuSTAR observations have not been made final yet but are expected to run longer. A Special Notice will be issued when the NuSTAR schedule is known.
March 24, 2015: Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has requested AAVSO observers' assistance with the classical T Tauri star RW Aur (component A). He writes:
"RW Aur A is a classical T Tauri surrounded by an accretion disk. It's a visual binary; the B component is fainter and shows no sign of a disk. The separation is 1.4 arcsec, but the B component is so much fainter (V = 13.6) that it's not a problem if the binary is not resolved.
March 18, 2015: Dr. Paula Szkody, University of Washington, has requested our help in monitoring the cataclysmic variable GW Lib for upcoming Hubble Space Telescope observations, scheduled to be made during the window 2015 April 22-25 UT. Dr. Szkody also observed this object with HST in March 2011 and March 2010 (see AAVSO Alert Notices 433 and 417, respectively).
March 13, 2015: Dr. George Rieke (University of Arizona) and colleagues have requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring four stars with developing planetary systems. The targets are RZ Psc, HD 15407A, V488 Per, and HD 23514. This campaign is similar to the one conducted in 2013 (see AAVSO Alert Notice 482).
Dr. Rieke writes: "We have obtained 130 hours of time on the Spitzer Space Telescope to continue monitoring planetary debris disks for variability. We are asking for help from AAVSO for this program.