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27 March Charts and Sequences Update March 2015

The following objects have new or revised sequences. If you observe any of these objects you should update your charts as soon as possible. You can download the entire list in .xlsx or .csv format below. Our sincere thanks to Tom Bretl and the charts and sequences team for their continued hard work.


24 March Alert Notice 514: RW Aur monitoring requested

March 24, 2015: Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) has requested AAVSO observers' assistance with the classical T Tauri star RW Aur (component A). He writes:
"RW Aur A is a classical T Tauri surrounded by an accretion disk. It's a visual binary; the B component is fainter and shows no sign of a disk. The separation is 1.4 arcsec, but the B component is so much fainter (V = 13.6) that it's not a problem if the binary is not resolved.

18 March Alert Notice 513: Request for observations of GW Lib in support of HST observations

March 18, 2015: Dr. Paula Szkody, University of Washington, has requested our help in monitoring the cataclysmic variable GW Lib for upcoming Hubble Space Telescope observations, scheduled to be made during the window 2015 April 22-25 UT. Dr. Szkody also observed this object with HST in March 2011 and March 2010 (see AAVSO Alert Notices 433 and 417, respectively).

16 March Alert Notice 512: Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2 = PNV J18365700-2855420

March 16, 2015

Event: Nova Sagittarii 2015 No. 2 = PNV J18365700-2855420

Discovered by: John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia

Discovery magnitude: 6.0 using DSLR and 50mm f/1.0 lens

Discovery date: 2015 March 15.634 UT

Coordinates:  R.A. 18 36 56.84   Dec. -28 55 39.8  (2000.0)

13 March Special Notice #400: BF Cyg observations requested

March 13, 2015: Dr. George Wallerstein (University of Washington) informed us that the symbiotic variable BF Cygni has brightened considerably over the past few weeks, and he is currently obtaining spectroscopy of it.  

13 March Alert Notice 511: Monitoring requested for developing planetary systems dust production study

March 13, 2015: Dr. George Rieke (University of Arizona) and colleagues have requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring four stars with developing planetary systems. The targets are RZ Psc, HD 15407A, V488 Per, and HD 23514. This campaign is similar to the one conducted in 2013 (see AAVSO Alert Notice 482).

13 March 104th Spring Meeting of the AAVSO

The 2015 Spring Meeting of the AAVSO will be held June 4-6 at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.   As many of you may know, 2015 is the International Year of Light.

13 March Solar Bulletin - Volume 71, Number 2

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

The February SID Data report is available here:

Thank you Rodney and Kim for putting these publications together!

12 March Special Notice #399: GK Per in outburst

March 12, 2015: The old nova GK Per (N Per 1901), which has dwarf nova outbursts, is going into outburst, according to observations submitted to the AAVSO International Database:

10 March New JAAVSO preprint: New Variable Stars Discovered by the APACHE Survey. II.


New Variable Stars Discovered by the APACHE Survey. II. Results After the Second Observing Season

Mario Damasso

INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy; Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, fraz. Lignan 39, 11020 Nus (Aosta), Italy

05 March Alert Notice 510: Observations of the symbiotic nova ASAS J174600-2321.3

March 5, 2015: The AAVSO is requesting observations of the symbiotic nova candidate ASAS J174600-2321.3 during the predicted upcoming eclipse of this system. Observers are asked to begin observing immediately (2015 March 5), and continue observations through the end of July 2015.  Both visual and instrumental observations are encouraged; the object was at V=12.28 on 2015 February 6.764 (OCN; S.

03 March Introducing "AAVSO Communications"

We are pleased to announce the launch of AAVSO Communications. The purpose of this monthly email is to highlight new initiatives and ongoing projects in a concise way which we hope you will find informative. Sometimes there is just so much going on that it is hard to keep track of it all. We hope that AAVSO Communications will make it easier for you to see what is happening and follow the links to read more about what interests you.

26 February AAVSO Bulletin 78 for 2015 published

AAVSO Bulletin 78 - Predicted Dates of Maxima and Minima of 380 Long Period Variables for 2015 has been published. 

The Bulletin is an essential aid in planning your LPV observing program! Generate a custom version of the Bulletin tailored to your observing needs, or download the Bulletin in PDF or CSV format. Find a list of legacy LPVs in need of observation here as well.

26 February Landolt Standards and 21st Century Photometry

Arlo Landolt should be familiar to most of the AAVSO community, not only as a friend and former councillor of the AAVSO, but as one of the leading figures of astronomical photometry and photometric calibrations.  Arlo Landolt's work on standard stars has set the standard -- very literally -- for astronomical photometry for nearly half a century.

18 February Alert Notice 509: Nova Sagittarii 2015 = PNV J18142514-2554343

February 18, 2015

Event: Nova Sagittarii 2015 = PNV J18142514-2554343

Discovered independently by:
- Hideo Nishimura (Shizuoka-ken, Japan)
- Koichi Nishiyama (Kurume, Japan) and Fujio Kabashima (Miyaki, Japan)

Discovery magnitude:
- Nishimura: DSLR magnitude 11.2, using 200-mm f/3.2 lens + digital camera
- Nishiyama and Kabashima: unfiltered CCD magnitude 10.9, using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens (+SBIG STL6303E camera)

17 February Alert Notice 508: Nova Scorpii 2015 == PNV J17032620-3504140

February 17, 2015

Event: Nova Scorpii 2015 = PNV J17032620-3504140

Discovered by: Tadashi Kojima, Gunma-ken, Japan

Discovery magnitude: unfiltered DSLR magnitude 8.1, using a 150-mm f/2.8 lens and digital camera

Discovery date: 2015 February 11.837 UT

Coordinates: RA: 17 03 26.18 , Decl: -35 04 17.6

13 February Special Notice #398: Bright Transient in Sgr (PNV J18142514-2554343)

Patrick Schmeer (SPK, Bischmisheim, Germany) reports the announcement on the CBAT Transient Object Confirmation Page (TOCP) of the discovery of a bright transient in Sgr on 2015 February 12.852 at an unfiltered magnitude of 10.9 by K. Nishiyama, using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens with an SBIG STL6303E CCD camera.  Nishiyama notes nothing is present on a previous image from 2015 February 02.887.  The transient has been independently confirmed with two pre-discovery images: by H. Nishimura (Shizuoka-ken, Japan) at magnitude 11.2 on 2015 February 12.840, and by T.

12 February CCD Photometry Guide update

The AAVSO Guide to CCD Photometry version 1.1 is now available for download.

This version contains several corrections and clarifications based on feedback from Ken Menzies and Tim Crawford. Thanks you two!

If you have comments or find inconsistencies, please send them to me and we will consider them for inclusion in the next revision.

Sara Beck, AAVSO Technical Assistant (

12 February Special Notice #397: Bright Transient in Sco (PNV J17032620-3504140)

February 11, 2015: Patrick Schmeer (SPK, Bischmisheim, Germany) reports the announcement on the CBAT Transient Object Confirmation Page (TOCP) of the discovery of a bright transient in Sco on 2015 February 11.8367 UT at unfiltered CCD magnitude 8.2 by Tadashi Kojima (Gunma-ken, Japan) using a 150-mm f/2.8 lens + a digital camera. Kojima reports nothing is visible on a frame from the same camera on Feb. 10.827 UT.

09 February Campaign highlight: b Persei

Some of the best opportunities for contributing to astronomical research come through the AAVSO's Observing Campaigns, which are observing projects requested by individual researchers with a specific goal in mind. Some Campaigns are designed to last for a long time, and the results aren't known until well after the campaign concludes.  But some campaigns pay off immediately.  Our campaign on the bright star b Persei is an example of the latter, with a handful of AAVSO observers getting exactly the right data, at the right time, right away!

23 January Charts and Sequences Update January 2015

With APASS data release 8 filling in most of the remaining areas of sky with reliable secondary standards, the sequence team has been busy filling the remaining standing requests. This latest batch of new and revised sequences also has many newly discovered CVs from ASASSN, as well as sequences for RCB, NR and ZAND objects in the AID and VSX. You can downoad the list as either an .xlsx or .csv file.

21 January AAVSO Newsletter for January 2015 is published

AAVSO Newsletter 63, January 2015 is now available to members

The AAVSO Newsletter is a periodic, general forum that supports our various observing programs with lists of new targets, observing programming ideas, and general information that spans a wide area of interest. Guest writers contribute pieces that can range from current events to book reviews.

20 January New eJAAVSO preprint: An eclipsing symbiotic nova in outburst?


The Curious Case of ASAS J174600-2321.3: an Eclipsing Symbiotic Nova in Outburst?

Stefan Hümmerich
Stiftstr. 4, Braubach, D-56338, Germany; American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Cambridge, MA;
Bundesdeutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Veränderliche Sterne e.V. (BAV), Berlin, Germany

Sebastián Otero
Olazabal 3650-8 C, Buenos Aires, 1430, Argentina; American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Cambridge, MA

19 January Special Notice #396: Blazar PKS 0716+71 in very bright outburst

January 19, 2015: The blazar PKS 0716+71 == S5 0716+71 is currently in a very bright active state, at a visual magnitude of 12.1 as observed by G. Poyner on 2015 January 19.212 (JD 2457041.712).  The object was first noted in outburst by Arkharov et al.

19 January Two new eJAAVSO preprints: Maxima of 67 SPPs; Longterm monitoring of semiregulars



Recent Maxima of 67 Short Period Pulsating Stars

Gerard Samolyk

P.O. Box 20677, Greenfield, WI 53220

Received January 8, 2015; accepted January 8, 2015


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