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The dark longitudes issue

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lmk
lmk's picture
The dark longitudes issue

As the ongoing dwarf novae campaign is making abundantly clear, there is a serious lack of coverage between the mid-pacific longitudes and eastern EU. Typically, a half day goes by, after the last observations around 0.35 UT from the pacific region, until the first ones start in Europe around 0.8 UT. This could definitely cause missed notification opportunities in campaigns, and I can think of some in the past that were impacted by this large gap.

Yet, on the other hand, those longitudes, the far east, central asia, africa, have a huge population, the largest on earth! How can we try to improve our observer pool to cover these areas? I know this issue had been raised before, and part of the problem is language barriers and access to the internet, in the "third world". Some translations of the AAVSO observing manual have been done into Chinese, I believe, but that seems to have had little impact?

What can we do to solve this problem? Do you have any ideas Stella?

Mike LMK

WWJ
WWJ's picture
Asian observers wanted.

Hi Mike,

 

I put this question to Elizabeth several years ago: the deficit of Asian observers . She said, it wasn't through lack of invitation and quoted a Japanese professional, who pointed out that most of the population inhabit tower blocks; the prerequisite being a piece of garden; driveway; or “back yard” as you'd put it. It's still odd that nothing comes in from that quarter. Perhaps, as you suggest, there is a cultural/language problem there... Though that shouldn't apply to India. Perhaps time now for a positive overture from us,in The West?

 

                                            Bill Wilson.

lmk
lmk's picture
An idea

[quote=WWJ]

Perhaps, as you suggest, there is a cultural/language problem there... Though that shouldn't apply to India. Perhaps time now for a positive overture from us,in The West?

 

[/quote]

Yes Bill, One idea I have been thinking of recently - Maybe AAVSO could use its clout as a "non-profit educational institution" and negotiate with one of the big, cheap commercial Dobsonian manufacturers (such as the Orion XT10 or Zhumell) to purchase 100 moderate size Dobs and send them to a bunch of rural schools in India, along with a copy of the AAVSO visual observing manual.

India is the perfect longitude to fill in our missing time gap, English is their main language, they are fairly developed country now, and many of the kids tend to have a scientific interest, and probably have internet access. Those kids may very well become enthusiastic observers at their schools, and end up contributing more obs than everyone else!

Mike LMK

 

WBY
WBY's picture
Dark Longitudes

India may be dark to us but it is not dark to amateur astronomy. Has anyone bothered to look at the list of amateur astronomy organizations in India? It is a long one.

I suggest that the productive approach would to contact these organizations to find out why they are not participating more fully in the campaigns and programs AAVSO has to offer. It may simply be that amateurs in India don't know about us or perhaps are not particularly interested in observing variable stars. I certainly don't think the correct approach is to buy a bunch of dobs and ship them off to India. I think that would only indicate lack of understanding by AAVSO of the issues involved. From my first hand business experience dealing with India, many - orders of magnitude more than the total AAVSO membership - have the technical knowledge, skill and financial means to be outstanding AAVSO contributors if they are interested in doing so and have an amenable location.

Here is the URL containing the list.
http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~aaa/amateur_clubs/aaa-all.htm 

Brad Walter

 

lmk
lmk's picture
Indian Clubs

Thanks for the list Brad. I found one there which had a website, the "JVP" in Pune. They seem to be the oldest such club in India, so they claim, and they have a webpage which shows the kind of work they do.

However, it appears to be similar to the clubs here in the states, which cater primarily to the general public, star parties, pretty pictures, events, such a thing. My experience with these types of clubs (plenty of it) has not been fruitful for recruiting any AAVSO observers. Thats really unfortunate, but it seems the type of people who are involved with these clubs are just not into scientific observing.

Nevertheless, I have sent them my contact info and information on the AAVSO, and lets see if we get any sort of positive response.

Mike LMK

 

deepdip
deepdip's picture
Contribution of JVP in AAVSO

hey Mike,
The information you have acquired is correct. I am associated with JVP, Oldest amateur astronomer's organization in india.
we do outreach activity to fund our equipment requisites. Past three years, We(Aniruddha deshpande AAVSO Code: DAND) are submitting variable star observations to AAVSO. Mr.Roger Pieri is assigned to us by Mike Simpson in 2013 as our mentor and we are still in touch with him.
JVP conducted this work using 10" newtonian(C10) on Skywatcher EQ6 mount.We use personal DSLR camera(Canon 7D)for observation purpose.
We do our observations from city area where unaided eye limiting magnitude is about 3.Our measurable magnitude with DSLR is about 14.5. presently,the construction of our dome is undergoing and will be finished by end of this month.
Presently,About 25 active members of JVP are capable of conducting photometric observations.We submit all observations to AAVSO using DAND id.
Last year(2013-2014) We carried out 808 observations of 17 different variable star/Novae. we also carried out sky survey of 69 sq.degree of sky for transient activity,with 100 observed nights.JVP has always responded to every observational alert of our reach and we wish to contribute more.

 Thanks
Deepak Joshee

Observation code :   JDSA

WBY
WBY's picture
Thank You Deepak

Thanks Deepak. 

Wonderful to read about your club's activities. It's great to see that the spirit of Radha Chandra is alive and well in the present generation of observers. 

Brad Walter

 

If the reference is unfamiliar to anyone reading this, look here: http://www.aavso.org/recognition and also

http://www.aavso.org/aavso-and-international-cooperation. His name is near the top of a very elite list of AAVSO observers from its first 50 years. 

 

umairasim
umairasim's picture
From Pakistan +5 GMT

 

 Hi,

    I am at 31.28, 74.22. I have C14 telescope. Would love to contribute from my site.

HNL
HNL's picture
Pune India thoughts

Hi All:  Thanks for the posting from India. Actually, I remembered that there were at least Two conferences hosted by Pune India One may have been a Librarian meeting and can't remember the affiliation for the other. Love the postings especially when they are from a different time zone.  HNL

 

 

WBY
WBY's picture
Contributing From +5 GMT

Do you have everything you need to participate or do you need some assistance from AAVSO? If you need some assistance, feel free to contact me off line. Are you a visual observer, CCD observer, or both?

Brad Walter, WBY

deepdip
deepdip's picture
Thanks

Sir, we are do CCD observations using C10 and Canon 7D DSLR

need some more info how we can work on O-C

thanks

Deepak Joshee, DJSA

WWJ
WWJ's picture
Dark longitudes...dark hours!

Greetings, Umairasim.

 

          It would be great to have you “on board”. Case in point is the light curve of Z Cam, right now. There's no estimate to fill the gap between my estimate of Feb 8th 23,47 UT of 12.7, and Feb 9th 20.46 UT at mag 11.0. A rise of 1,7 mag in 21 hours. You and your people could cover that lacunae, without difficulty.

 

         No need to be an officially paid up member; just log in and collect a password.

 

                                                     Bill .

umairasim
umairasim's picture
   Hi Bill, Z cam is not

 

 Hi Bill, Z cam is not visible from my location (Lahore, Pakistan. 31.28, 74.22).

lmk
lmk's picture
Thats a big city?

[quote=umairasim]

Z cam is not visible from my location (Lahore, Pakistan. 31.28, 74.22).

[/quote]

I am curious what is your naked eye limiting magnitude, or SQM values at your location?

Mike LMK

 

WBY
WBY's picture
Z Cam

Umair,

Z Cam is at J2000 coordinates RA 08h 25m 13s  Dec +73° 06' 39"  So it should be passing very near your zenith at about 23:29 local standard time. Is there something about local conditions that make it impossible to observe?Z cam is fairly bright ranging betwee about V mag 10 and V mag 14.4.

Mike Simonson's "Z campaign" that I mentioned in my last post is not just the study of Z cam itself. It covers all Z cam (UGZ) type stars. VSX lists 26 known UGZ stars, 11 of which get above 30 degrees altitude at your location at some time during the year. The VSX extended search feature, searching by campaign, shows there are about 50 stars included in the Z Campaign the additional ones are categorized as other types. They could be Z Cams that are mis-categorized in GCVS or which are  suspected of being mis-categorized. I don't know all the details of the stars in the campaign. 

Good observing whatever you choose to observe. UGZ stars are very interesting so are many others. 

HNL
HNL's picture
How to observe varibles (atmob newsletter)

Hi All: The Atmob newsletter is available with details on how to observe. I thought this would be a good place to point out that I believe that it is available to all for the February 2015. Thanks to Glen Chaple for his detaled report.  I do not generally Push the newletter since it is local But someone might derive some benefit from it.

Just trying to be helpful. Best, Anna

WBY
WBY's picture
O-C

Deepak, 

Sorry, I should have been more specific. i was responding to Umair's post. Your original e-mail was very clear about the observing you are doing. I did send you some info directly about O-C. Let me know if this is the kind of info you were looking for or whether I misunderstood. 

Brad Walter

umairasim
umairasim's picture
   Hi WBY, I have been

 

 Hi WBY, I have been contributing to AAVSO for a few months and have added about 170 observations so far. I have C14 telescope with SBIG ST9 camera and use Astrodon V filter. I only observe with CCD.

 I would love to send as much data as possible from my location. I think i would like to be a part of more projects and plans.

umairasim
umairasim's picture
   Thanks for your replies

 

 Thanks for your replies folks! I use C14 telescope with SBIG ST9 camera and Astrodon V filter in between. I only do CCD Photometry and, as far as i know, i am the only person who is doing CCD photometry in my country. I would love to know more targets and contribute in any project that is right for my setup.

WBY
WBY's picture
Targets

There is so much you can co with a telescope that size and an ST9. Start with something that grabs your interest and branch out. Eclipsing binaries, Cataclysmic variables, Cepheid light curves, exoplanet light curves, SN, recurrent novae Miras and other LPVs. The sky is the limit! Sorry for the bad pun. 

If there is a type of star that graps your interest download a list from VSX, and pick some well positioned at the moment to start imaging. Sometimes what you pick to observe depends on how you like to observe. If you like to sit on one or perhaps only a couple of stars for a whole evening, then perhaps short period binaries and pulsating variable with short periods would be of interest. Perhaps you want to make observations of RR Lyrae stars that show the Blazhko effect to provide data to help understand it better.

Perhaps you like to take a few images of lots of different stars in an evening moving around the sky. Then perhaps you would be interested in longer period variables. 

Perhaps CV's are for you. Mike Simonsen has an ongoing campaign on Z cam stars, for example. Some variables like T Tauri stars can have vary chaotic light curves others types more regular. 

Attached is a good introductory paper on types of variables. I also highly recommend the AAVSO CHOICE course Variable Star Classification and Light Curves which is given from time to time on-line. There isn't a session scheduled in the near future but Check the AAVSO web page for Choice courses every few months to see when the next one will be. There are also AAVSO forums for different types of variables. Check those out to see which types of variables grab your interest and jump in. 

For any type of variable, you can get a list of ones known to be variable from the AAVSO VSX Variable Star IndeX) web page. VSX will give you the information you need to determine if the aparent magnitude of the star is a good fit for your equipment. Your set up gives you a lot of choices. You just want to keep your exposure times within a reasonable range from say 5 or 10 seconds to much longer periods that make sense within the time scale of the variability you are trying to observe and the guiding capability of your equipment. If the star has an AAVSO AUID listed in VSX,you can go to the AAVSO light curve generator page and check out observations that have been submitted for that star You may prefer to observe stars that others are observing or start observing one that has few or no observations. The AAVSO VSP page will allow you to plot a finder chart and a comparison star list (sequence) if one has been created. If one hasn't you can request one and the sequence teem will create one and add it. Sometimes good comparison stars aren't available in a field of view that fits your equipment, and that could be a reason that some star hasn't been observed. You can also see if others on the forum for that variable type have any info about a particular star. 

Some people like to ovserve suspected variables either to confirm the type of suspected variability or simpley whether they are varying on some time scale. I think VSX has the entire NSVS catalog of suspected variable stars. Not all have AAVSO AUID numbers. Those without IDs aren't in the AAVSO variable star database (VSD) and won't show up on the finder charts but you can still plot a finder centered on the coordinates of the star in which you are interested with AAVSO comp stars marked, if any are available in the FOV. 

AAVSO even has an observation planning tool to help set up you observing sessions. 

So Lots of ways to generate more targets no matter what captures your interest. It is probably easiest to start with stars that 

Brad Walter, WBY

 

 

WWJ
WWJ's picture
Visibility of Z Cam from Lahore.

Hi Umairasim.

 

Z Cam should be well placed in your northern sky during the evening: for example, 36° high at 18.00 UT. Perhaps you'd like to check that out?

 

                                                                               Bill.

WWJ
WWJ's picture
Max altitude of Z Cam from Lahore.

Hi Brad,

 

According to my planetarium program, Z Cam doesn't rise much above 45° in the latitude of Lahore. However, that's plenty, I think you'll agree, for our potential recruits in Pakistan.

 

                                                                       Bill.

 

 

WBY
WBY's picture
Z Cam and Lahore

Of course you are right. Sorry, I am so used to the RA and Dec order that I took the coordinates from Umair as Long , Lat and of couse it was lat, Long. Sorry about that. 

That also means more Z Cam stars are above 30 deg altitude in Lahore. 

 

Brad Walter

 

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