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News and Announcements

21 February Asteroids Mikesimonsen and Mariomotta

Congratulations to AAVSO staff member Mike Simonsen, and to AAVSO Past President Mario Motta who each have had an asteroid named in their honor by the IAU Minor Planet Center.

The official citations read as follows:

(367732) Mikesimonsen = 2010 UT62 Discovered 2005 May 4 by J. Bedient at Faulkes Telescope. Mike Simonsen (b. 1956) is a talented musician, an accomplished horticulturalist, a popularizer of astronomy, and a leader in the study of variable stars.

18 February New CHOICE courses offered for spring

Registration is now open for three CHOICE courses being offered this spring.

CHOICE: How To Use VPHOT (March 17 - April 11)

CHOICE: Variable Star Classification and Light Curves (April 14 - May 9)

CHOICE: How To Use VStar (May 12 - June 6)

Courses are $30 for members and $50 for non-members.
(The VPHOT course is open to members only.)

11 February Alert Notice 497: Nova Sagittarii 2014 = PNV J18250860-2236024 AND Erratum

February 11, 2014

1. Event: Nova Sagittarii 2014 = PNV J18250860-2236024

Discovered by: Sigeru Furuyama (Tone-machi, Ibaraki-ken, Japan) and reported by S. Nakano (Sumoto, Japan)

Discovery magnitude: unfiltered CCD magnitude 8.7, using a 200-mm f/2.8 camera lens + BJ-42L camera

Discovery date: 2014 Jan. 26.857 UT

Coordinates: R.A. 18 25 08.60  Decl. = -22 36 02.4  (2000.0)

07 February Alert Notice 496: Outburst of the recurrent nova V745 Sco

February 7, 2014

Event: Outburst of the recurrent nova V745 Sco

Discovery by: Rod Stubbings (Tetoora Road, VIC, Australia)

Discovery magnitude: 9.0 (visual)

Discovery date: 2014 February 6.694 UT

Coordinates:  R.A. 17 55 22.27   Dec. -33 14 58.5  (2000.0)

06 February Aviso Especial #380: Erupción reportada de la nova recurrente V0745 Sco

06 February Special Notice #380: Reported outburst of the recurrent nova V0745 Sco

February 6, 2014: Rod Stubbings (observer code SRX; Tetoora Road, Victoria, Australia) reports an outburst of the recurrent nova V0745 Sco (aka Nova Sco 1937). Stubbings reports the nova at a visual magnitude of 9.0 on 2014 February 6.694 UT (JD 2456695.194). He previously observed the field on 2014 February 5.696 and found the star fainter than 13.0, indicating that this outburst began within the past 24 hours.

03 February La IAU le asigna a asteroides el nombre de importantes observadores de AAVSO

El Minor Planet Center del Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory en Cambridge, Massachusetts, homenajeó recientemente a los observadores de AAVSO Edward A. Halbach y William B. Albrecht nombrando dos planetas menores en su honor en la Circular de Planetas Menores de enero.

31 January IAU Names Asteroids for Prominent AAVSO Observers

The Minor Planet Center, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently honored AAVSO observers, Edward A. Halbach and William B. Albrecht, by naming two minor planets in their honor in January's Minor Planet Circular

22 January Alerta de AAVSO 495: Brillante supernova de tipo Ia PSN J09554214+6940260 y campaña de observación

22 de enero de 2014

Evento: Supernova en M82 (Osa Mayor) = PSN J09554214+6940260

Descubierta por: Stephen J. Fossey (University College London Observatory)

Magnitud al descubrimiento: 11,7 V

22 January Alert Notice 495: Bright Type-Ia Supernova PSN J09554214+6940260 and Observing Campaign

January 22, 2014

Event: Supernova in M82 (Ursa Major) = PSN J09554214+6940260

Discovery by: Stephen J. Fossey (University College London Observatory)

Discovery magnitude
: 11.7 V

Discovery date: 2014 January 21.81 UT

Coordinates: R.A. = 09 55 42.15, Decl.= +69 40 25.8 (2000.0)
PSN J09554214+6940260 is offset 54" west, 21" south from the nucleus of M82

14 January Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 12

The December 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy:

14 January Almost Twenty-Five Million! ... and Counting

We are approaching a milestone in the AAVSO International Database. Are you counting?

If you take a look at the observation total in the Recent Activity section of the AAVSO homepage, you will see that we will soon reach twenty-five million observations!

13 January AAVSO Newsletter 59 is published

AAVSO Newsletter 59 - January 2014

07 January Program stars in need of observation

The AAVSO maintains several lists of stars for which observations are strongly encouraged.  These are primarily stars for which the AAVSO already has well-covered light curves spanning several decades or longer, and for which we deem there is value in continuing observations indefinitely.

31 December Visual Observing Manual in Spanish - 2013 edition

The Spanish version of the 2013 edition of the Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars - Manual para la Observación Visual de Estrellas Variables - is now available for download here:

26 December The Final Adventures of an Administrative Assistant

I have been with the AAVSO for two and a half years as the Administrative Assistant.  And what an adventure it has been!  I've been to three fall meetings, including the Centennial.  I’ve experienced the introduction of CHOICE courses, the Adopt A Variable Star Program (AAVSP), and the move to the online forums.  I’ve worked with our publications, our store, our website, and our social media.  I’ve biked to HQ in pouring rain and slippe

19 December Charts and Sequences Update December 19, 2013

The list below are stars whose sequences have been created or revised since October 8, 2013. If you currently observe any of these stars, please update your charts to the latest version of the sequence.

You can also check the list for all of 2013 and previous years here

19 December Special Notice #379: Supernova 2013hn in IC 4329 = PSN J13485917-3017265

December 19, 2013: IAU CBET 3762 (Daniel W. E. Green, Ed.) announces the discovery of Supernova 2013hn in IC 4329 by Ella Sanders Kot and R. Kot (Truth or Consequences, NM) and D. Coffin (University of Iowa) at unfiltered magnitude 15.2 on 2013 December 13.544 UT using the 0.37-m f/14 Rigel telescope at the Iowa Robotic Observatory near Sonoita, AZ. E. S. Kot adds that a follow-up image taken on December 16.53 shows SN 2013hn at mag 14.8 U (position end figures 59.19s, 26.9").

19 December Alert Notice 494: T Tauri stars observing campaign

December 19, 2013: Darryl Sergison (University of Exeter) has requested AAVSO assistance with a campaign he is carrying out on five T Tauri stars. This study is the one for which AAVSO observers carried out a preliminary campaign last year (see Alert Notice 473 and Special Notice #306). The star list is revised and expanded from last year's list of targets. This campaign will run from now at least through the end of the 2013-2014 observing season.

18 December Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 11

The November 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy:

18 December Special Notice #378: BP Tau Chandra observation times set - time-series observations needed

December 18, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 493, Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has been given the precise times of the Chandra X-ray observations to be made of the T Tauri star BP Tau:

year:day:hour:min (in UT):
2013:356:22:52-2013:357:10:00 = 2013 Dec 22 22:52 through Dec 23 10:00 UT

2013:359:14:46-2013:360:06:06 = 2013 Dec 25 14:46 through Dec 26 06:06 UT

18 December Alert Notice 493: Request to monitor BP Tau in support of Chandra X-ray observations

December 18, 2013: Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has requested nightly observations of the classical T Tauri star BP Tau in support of upcoming Chandra X-ray observations in his study of the accretion processes underway in this star.

16 December JAAVSO vol 41, no 2 is now published

JAAVSO Volume 41, Number 2 is now published

06 December New eJAAVSO preprint: The naked-eye optical transient OT 120926

ej251: "The Naked-eye Optical Transient OT 120926" by Y. Zhao, P. B. Hall, P. Delaney, J. Sandal

06 December Special Notice #377: Reported outburst of the WZ Sge star AL Comae

December 6, 2013: Observer Carlo Gualdoni reports via the cvnet-outburst mailing list that the WZ Sge-type dwarf nova AL Comae is in outburst, with a magnitude of V=12.74 on 2013 December 6.185 (JD 2456633.1185).  Gary Poyner notes on the BAAVSS mailing list that this is the first observed outburst of AL Com since October 2007.  Both visual observations and CCD time series are encouraged.

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