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News and Announcements

10 March Dr. John Percy Wins CASCA's inaugural Qilak Award


09 March Charts and Sequences Update March 2012

New data released from the AAVSO Photometric All Sky Survey (APASS) has allowed us to revise, repair and update many reported chart errors as well as create new sequences for variable star sequence requests and regions of the sky previously lacking reliable photometry. As a result, the following stars have new or revised sequences, and you should update your records accordingly.

06 March New eJAAVSO preprint: "Recent Minima of 150 EB Stars" by G. Samolyk

"Recent Minima of 150 Eclipsing Binary Stars" by G. Samolyk

03 March Aviso Especial de AAVSO #266: Posible Nova en Carina (TCP J10502000-6406480)

03 March Special Notice #266: Possible Nova in Carina (TCP J10502000-6406480)

3 March 2012:  John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia, reports his discovery of a possible nova in Carina on 2012 February 26.543 UT at magnitude 10.2 on 3 images with digital SLR, 50 mm f/1.0 lens. No object was seen at the location on survey images taken on February 23.424 UT 2012. A possible image of the nova was seen at magnitude 11 (limit of visibility) on an image taken on February 25.733 UT 2012. Seach reports no object was seen on the POSS2 red image, and no variable star, comet, or minor planet was reported at the position.

02 March Alert Notice 454: Monitoring of CH Cyg requested for Chandra and HST observations

March 2, 2012:  Dr. Margarita Karovska, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has requested visual and photometric observations of the symbiotic variable CH Cyg in preparation for and support of Chandra and HST observations scheduled for later in March 2012. Dr. Karovska's observations will be a followup investigation of the central region of CH Cyg and its jet that was discovered a couple of years ago. AAVSO observations are requested in order to monitor the state of the system and correlate with the satellite observations.

01 March Two New CHOICE Classes Announced: Light Curves and CCD Imaging

Registration is open for two new CHOICE classes to begin in May. The classes are:

Registration can be done via the online store page here.

More information on the CHOICE program is here.

01 March Special Notice #265: Bright Symbiotics in Sgr, Cyg, and Oph

Observer S. O'Connor reported late last week that the symbiotic stars V4018 Sgr, CH Cyg, and V2523 Oph all appeared to be in outburst or brighter than normal.  He reports: V4018 Sgr at V=11.59 on JD 2455981.021 (2012 Feb 23.521); CH Cyg at V=7.30 on 2455982.976 (Feb 25.476); and V2523 Oph at V=11.67 on 2455981.0 (Feb 23.5).  Other more recent visual observations of CH Cyg by G. Holmberg (vis=7.6 on 2455983.4993) and D. Barrett (vis=7.4 on 2455985.6013) confirm the star is well above magnitude 8.0 at this time.

29 February AAVSO Bulletin 75 for 2012

Predicted Dates of Maxima and Minima of 381 Long Period Variables for 2012

27 February Blog Post about Foster Brunton Updated

I've updated the staff blog post about Foster Brunton and his experience in Guam in WW2. We received a lot of nice feedback on the article and I added some additional information about Mr. Brunton that we received.

23 February Visual Observing Manual in Persian

The Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars is now available in Persian (Farsi).

23 February Alert Notice 453: Monitoring of S Dor requested for multiwavelength campaign

February 23, 2012:  Dr. Noel Richardson, Georgia State University, has requested monitoring of the luminous blue variable (LBV) prototype S Doradus as part of a multiwavelength campaign he is coordinating to study the photosphere of this star. At present the observations planned include:

1. UV Spectroscopy from HST
2. Optical spectroscopy from CTIO and an amateur in Australia
3. Near-IR Spectroscopy from SOAR (pending approval)
4. Mid-IR photometry from Gemini (pending approval)

21 February 2013 Spring Meeting Site Proposals Wanted - Due March 1st!

The AAVSO is accepting proposals to host our 2013 "spring" meeting. Typically these meetings are held away from our HQ in Cambridge, MA sometime in the months of April-July. For the first time, we are experimenting with the process of accepting open suggestions and bids for the location of our next unplanned meeting (2012 will be in Big Bear, CA).

17 February A BVRcIc Survey of W Ursae Majoris Systems

17 February H-R Diagram Education Materials

Our own Donna Young has created an educational activity about variable stars on the HR Diagram. The activity is designed for formal K-16 educators and includes a teacher's guide, background material, student activities and answer keys.

However, the activity is also a great learning tool for those new to variable stars. It will introduce many of the most important types of variable stars and describe how they are related to other types. The genius of HR Diagrams is how they place everything in context of the grand scheme of things.

13 February Solar Bulletin - Volume 68, Number 1

The January 2012 Solar Bulletin is now available.

08 February AAVSO CCD School

The AAVSO will be holding a week-long "CCD School" from July 30 through August 3, 2012.  The school will take place at Tufts University, located a couple of miles from AAVSO HQ.  The school is designed for those who have some experience with a CCD system, and who want to learn how to take professional-quality data.

08 February Alert Notice 452: Simultaneous observations of SU Aur and AB Aur requested for XMM-Newton

8 February 2012:  Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has requested bracketing and simultaneous observations in support of XMM-Newton x-ray observations of the classical T Tauri star SU Aur and the close-by Herbig Ae star AB Aur scheduled for February 15 - 17, 2012. The targets are too bright to use the XMM optical monitor for simultaneous monitoring, so your observing assistance is essential for correlation of the x-ray data.

07 February Accounting Clerk Wanted for p/t Position at AAVSO HQ

06 February Long-Term Optical and Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Monitoring of epsilon Aurigea During the 2009-11 Eclipse

03 February AAVSO Newsletter 51 is now online

AAVSO Newsletter 51, January 2012, is now online.

29 January Charts and Sequences Update January 2012

There are over 100 new and revised charts and sequences since the last update in November. Many of these are for stars in the newly formed YSO Section Program, southern stars with new photometry from APASS and campaign targets. The rest are revisions based on issues reported to CHET and requests for new sequences from our observers.

27 January Alert Notice 451: Monitoring of the Symbiotic Variable RT Cru Requested

January 27, 2012: The symbiotic variable RT Cru has brightened in hard x-rays. Dr. Jeno Sokoloski, Columbia University, has requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring RT Cru both now and in the future to see if it is doing anything unusual in the optical. The Swift/BAT hard X-ray light curve shows RT Cru has apparently been gradually brightening over the past few years.  

27 January William Tyler Olcott Mentioned in Norwich Bulletin

The Norwich Bulletin, of Norwich, Ct., published an article about AAVSO co-founder William Tyler Olcott in their blog focused on the history of the town.  It includes interesting tidbits about Mr. Olcott, references to the AAVSO and proposals for ways to commemorate him.

Click here to read the story.

25 January Join us for an online chat on Thursday Jan. 26

Various AAVSO staff will be in the AAVSO Chat Room on Thursday, January 26. Stop by to chat with other AAVSOers and staff.

Click here to join!

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