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Monitor circumpolar or the opposite?

SMIK
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Joined: 2011-11-28

I'm just starting to monitor variables and reporting to AAVSO.

Which of the following is the best strategy for making useful variable star observations - using the basic assumption that I'm only monitoring stars on the AAVSO LPV list.

Strategy 1: I'm in SW Utah (Lat 37N). Should I just focus on monitoring circumpolar variables (53+ degrees) so that i can measure them continually through the year?

Strategy 2: Or is it more valuable to monitor variables further south because I have a little better range than observers further north than me - even though I would not be able to continually monitor them?


Thanks for your advice
Mike

Circumpolar or not
Matthew Templeton
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Hi Mike,

Continuous coverage is always good to have, but I would not concentrate solely on circumpolar stars since there's so much of interest at lower Declinations.  What would be very useful are observations made immediately after conjunction; we get much less data from the early morning than the evening, but those early observations of Miras really help cut down on the annual gaps.  Making occasional pre-dawn observations of objects in the eastern sky can really do a lot.

Matt

Circumpolar stars
MDAV
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Hello Mike-

I'd like to second what Matt said.

You will be missing out on a lot of fun stars if you just limit yourself to high latitude ones. In another thread you mentioned R Lep- a very red star. You would have miissed that one if you limited yourself to circumpolar. Same with old friends like R Leo. Or R Hya -which has shown some period changes that may indicate onset of a helium shell flash. It will take a lot of observations over many years to pin this type of thing down.

And although the LPV's constitute the vast majority of my observations I add a smattering of other types

For example:R CrB is an eruptive variable that emits a cloud of "soot" that obscures the star. About 4 years ago it did so and dimmed from 5'th to below 14.  It bottomed out at about mag 15 a couple of years ago and had been slowly brightening but a few months ago ejected another cloud and plummeted back down again. It is appearing in the morning sky now and appears to be slowly brightening again.

There is also a Z Cam group. These are fascinating stars that do weird stuff. They act like SS Cyg with periodic outbursts but then a "standstill" will occur -the outbursts stop and the star gets seeming stuck in between maxima and minima.

But I always come back to the LPVs- there is just something fascinating about these AGB stars near the end of their lifetimes. 

 

Dave M (MDAV)

 

 

Circumpolar or not
Aldebaran
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Mike Scott wrote:

I'm just starting to monitor variables and reporting to AAVSO.

Which of the following is the best strategy for making useful variable star observations - using the basic assumption that I'm only monitoring stars on the AAVSO LPV list.

Strategy 1: I'm in SW Utah (Lat 37N). Should I just focus on monitoring circumpolar variables (53+ degrees) so that i can measure them continually through the year?

Strategy 2: Or is it more valuable to monitor variables further south because I have a little better range than observers further north than me - even though I would not be able to continually monitor them?


Thanks for your advice
Mike

Hi Mike!

If I was you, I would choose the strategy number 2. I'm living in Finland at latitude ~60N, and my strategy is to focus mostly on the circumpolar stars, which are well visible from here (except the light summers).

But as you living there in the south, just keep on gazing the southern stars, so that you can make most out of it!

- Juha Ojanperä 

Number 2
SET
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Mike,

I agree with Juha, go by your number 2 idea. At your latitude, you can cover a greater area of the sky.

Chris Stephan   SET

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484