December 1, 2016: The blazar CTA 102 (4C 11.69) has been in an active state in gamma-ray and optical wavelengths since 2015. During 2016, it has had numerous flaring episodes, particularly since late October. It is presently in an unprecedentedly bright optical state, and showing substantially increased emission in gamma-ray and near-infrared wavelengths.
The charts and sequences team has been busy over the last several months preparing new sequences for newly discovered objects and revised sequences intended to improve existing sequences. If you observe any of these objects please update your charts and/or sequences. A file in .xlsx format is attached below for your convenience.
November 15, 2016: Dr. Franco Giovannelli (Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali di Roma) has requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring V725 Tau, the Be star in the high-mass X-ray transient A0535+26/HDE245770, in order to plan for the X-ray outburst that follows 8 days after the optical brightening that occurs at periastron passage.
Periastron passage will occur on 16 November 2016, so coverage is needed beginning immediately and continuing for at least 15 days after periastron, until December 2.
November 9, 2016: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 545, time series observations of the intermediate polar cataclysmic variable FO Aqr are requested to provide simultaneous coverage of XMM-Newton observations scheduled for 2016 November 13 19:43 UTC to November 14 8:13 UTC.
October 19, 2016: Kelly Gourdji and Marcella Wijngaarden (graduate students at the University of Amsterdam/Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy) have requested AAVSO observers' assistance in providing optical photometry of CI Cam in support of their high-resolution spectroscopy with the Mercator telescope + Hermes spectrograph in La Palma from now through January 2017.
October 19, 2016: Dr. Edward Sion (Villanova University) has requested AAVSO observers' assistance in monitoring the recurrent nova CI Aql in support of observations with the Hubble Space Telescope Cosmic Origins Spectrograph scheduled for October 31 - November 2, 2016, and November 3 - November 5, 2016. These observations are part of a study on short orbital period recurrent novae as Supernovae Type Ia progenitors.