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Small Telescope Infrared Photometry of the epsilon Aurigae Eclipse


Thomas P. Rutherford
201 Clear Branch Circle, Blountville, TN 37617

Received May 15, 2012; revised June 18, 2012; accepted June 18, 2012


Near-infrared photometry of epsilon Aurigae, in the H- and J-bands, was undertaken during the 2009–2011 eclipse using telescopes of moderate size (8-inch and 14-inch diameter). Instruments of this size successfully collected scientific data in the H- and J-bands. Observations were made from the campus of East Tennessee State University (ETSU), Johnson City, Tennessee, the campus of King College, Bristol, Tennessee, and from the author’s home. Signal/Noise ratios of approximately 45 were obtained during times of maximum eclipse. Higher S/N ratios could have been obtained by extending the length of time on target. S/N ratios of almost 100 were obtained outside of eclipse. The infrared light curves produced closely parallel the light curve in the visual range (V), being about 0.5 magnitude brighter in H and 0.7 magnitude brighter in J. The eclipse was easily detected and followed throughout its duration. The rate of ingress was shallower than the rate of egress in both the H- and J-bands. The background variations of the primary star were readily detected.

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