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.
March 5, 2015: The AAVSO is requesting observations of the symbiotic nova candidate ASAS J174600-2321.3 during the predicted upcoming eclipse of this system. Observers are asked to begin observing immediately (2015 March 5), and continue observations through the end of July 2015. Both visual and instrumental observations are encouraged; the object was at V=12.28 on 2015 February 6.764 (OCN; S.
- Nishimura: DSLR magnitude 11.2, using 200-mm f/3.2 lens + digital camera
- Nishiyama and Kabashima: unfiltered CCD magnitude 10.9, using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens (+SBIG STL6303E camera)
February 11, 2015: Patrick Schmeer (SPK, Bischmisheim, Germany) reports the announcement on the CBAT Transient Object Confirmation Page (TOCP) of the discovery of a bright transient in Sco on 2015 February 11.8367 UT at unfiltered CCD magnitude 8.2 by Tadashi Kojima (Gunma-ken, Japan) using a 150-mm f/2.8 lens + a digital camera. Kojima reports nothing is visible on a frame from the same camera on Feb. 10.827 UT.
January 19, 2015: The blazar PKS 0716+71 == S5 0716+71 is currently in a very bright active state, at a visual magnitude of 12.1 as observed by G. Poyner on 2015 January 19.212 (JD 2457041.712). The object was first noted in outburst by Arkharov et al.
January 16, 2015: We have been informed by PI Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh that his campaign on alpha Com (AAVSO Alert Notice 506) has been cancelled. Position measurements published a century ago contained errors that affected the predictions for the time of eclipse.
More information will be coming from Dr. Muterspaugh and we will disseminate it to everyone in an Alert Notice, but he asked that the observer community be informed now so that observing efforts might not be wasted.
January 12, 2015: Photometry by P. Benni (AAVSO observer code BPAD; Massachusetts, United States), D. Collins (CDK; North Carolina, United States), F. Campos (CFRA; Catalunya, Spain), and F. Melillo (MFR; New York, United States) suggest that b Persei may have entered eclipse around JD 2457033.6 (2015 January 11.1 UT). Time-series photometric observations of this bright star are urgently requested beginning immediately, and continuing for the next two weeks (through at least 2015 January 26 UT) and possibly beyond.
December 11, 2014: In AAVSO Special Notice #392, the name of the supernova discovered in NGC 4666 was given as ASASSN-141p. It should have been ASASSN-14lp. That is to say, the text following the dash should
be "fourteen ell pee" and not "fourteen one pee".
Please create charts and submit observations using the name ASASSN-14lp.
Sincere apologies for the error!
This AAVSO Special Notice was compiled by Elizabeth O. Waagen.
December 11, 2014: T. W.-S. Holoien et al. announce in The Astronomer's Telegram (ATel) #6795 (http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=6795) the discovery of a transient in NGC 4666 at magnitude 14.3 V on 2014 December 9.61 UT. The discovery was made in the course of the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASASSN) search, and the object assigned the name ASASSN-14lp. ASASSN-14lp was not seen (<15.3 V) in poor-quality ASASSN images obtained on 2104 Dec. 08.35 UT.