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News and Announcements

25 October Alert Notice 449: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

October 25, 2011

Event: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

24 October Reminder: Observing Challenges End Soon!

There are only two months left to get a certificate for achieving one of our centennial observing challenges!

21 October Special Notice #261: Outburst of the UGWZ Candidate BW Scl

The short period cataclysmic variable BW Scl appears to be in outburst. The object was detected in outburst at m(vis)=9.6 by M. Linnolt on 2011 October 21.3146 (JD 2455855.8146), and confirmed by A. Plummer at m(vis)=9.4 on October 21.3424.  Observations of this object are encouraged.  The object has conflicting classifications in astronomical literature, but is probably a WZ Sge-type dwarf nova rather than a novalike variable.

BW Scl is located at the following (J2000) coordinates:

19 October AAVSO 100th Anniversary Commemorative Posters

By popular demand! A set of twenty pdf commemorative posters exhibited at AAVSO Headquarters is available for downloading from our ftp site.

The posters show portraits of the AAVSO's Directors, Presidents, Secretaries, Treasurers, Council members, and Staff from 1911 to 2011, and the top Visual, CCD, PEP, and Photographic/Photovisual observers.

Click on the links below to download each poster.

19 October Deep light curve of GRB 110918A

18 October Sky & Telescope to Celebrate Seventy Years!

It's not only the AAVSO that is celebrating milestones this month. Our close personal friends, Sky & Telescope magazine is celebrating its 70th Anniversary in its own style.

18 October Group Photo from the AAVSO's 100th Anniversary Meeting

Click on this link for a downloadable high-resolution group photo (1.7MB)

Click on this link for a downloadable KEY to the photo (877kb pdf)

      Downloadable key includes list of those who attended but were not present for the photo

09 October New HQ Officially Dedicated

The AAVSO's new headquarters was officially dedicated at a ceremony during the 100th Annual Meeting of the AAVSO, part of our 2011 centennial celebrations.

The event was broadcast live on U-Stream. A video archive is still available on their servers.

Sky & Telescope has a nice news article covering the dedication and events surrounding it.

29 September Charts and Sequences Update September 2011

The following stars (objects) have new or revised sequences as of September 29, 2011.

Please update your charts if you observe any of these objects.


26 September New eJAAVSO preprint: Recent Minima of 146 EB Stars by G. Samolyk

ej151: "Recent Minima of 146 Eclipsing Binary Stars" by G. Samolyk

23 September Astronomy Now Interview w/Williams and Saladyga

Astronomy Now has posted an interesting dialog with the authors of  Advancing Variable Star Astronomy: Tom Williams and Michael Saladyga.

22 September Special Notice 257: Reminder to observe V455 And for HST observations

September 22, 2011: As detailed in AAVSO Alert Notice 448, Dr. Paula Szkody has requested monitoring of the WZ Sge-type cataclysmic variable V455 And through October 10. Observations tonight - September 22/23, tomorrow, and Saturday are crucial.

16 September Request to Take Astronomy Knowledge Survey

Dear AAVSO Members and Observers,

Dr. Stephanie Slater (Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research [CAPER] and Capitol College) has requested that active AAVSO members and observers take a survey about basic astronomy knowledge at the following URL:

16 September Special Notice #256: Request for fast optical time series of SN 2011fe

September 16, 2011: Dr. Bradley Schaefer (LSU) requests fast time series of SN 2011fe over the next several weeks to attempt the detection of fast optical variations in supernova light.

The following request was prepared by Dr. Schaefer which we forward at his request:

14 September Special Notice 255: Cataclysmic Variable in Draco = PNV J18422792+4837425

September 14, 2011: IAU CBAT Central Bureau Electronic Telegram 2818 (Daniel W. E. Green, ed.) announces the discovery by Hideo Nishimura, Miyawaki, Kakegawa, Shizuoka-ken, Japan, of a cataclysmic variable in Draco on 2011 Sept. 5.529 UT at magnitude 11.8 (reported by S. Nakano, Sumoto, Japan). The variable was designated PNV J18422792+4837425 when posted on the Central Bureau's TOCP webpage.

14 September Three new eJAAVSO preprints

ej148: "Deep Infrared ZAMS FIts to Benchmark Open Clusters Hosting delta Scuti Stars" by D. J. Majaess, D. G. TUrner, D. J. Lane, T. Krajci

ej149: "Delta Scuti Behavior Detected in HD 349422" by G. Turner, R. Kaitchuck

ej150: "A Search for Eclipsing Binary Light Curve Variations Among MACHO Project Light Curves of 3,256 Fundamental-Mode RR Lyrae Variables in the Galactic Bulge" by M. W. Richmond

14 September Supernova Photometry Chat with Dr. Michael Richmond

On 13 September, 2011, we had the good fortune to have Dr. Michael Richmond, Physics Professor and Observatory Director for the Rochester Institute of Technology in New York chat with us about SN 2011fe and supernova photometry in general. Here is the transcript from that chat session.

12 September Alert Notice 448: Request for observations of V455 AND in support of HST observations

September 12, 2011:

11 September Alert Notice 447: Nova Sco 2011 No. 2 = PNV J16364440-4132340 = PNV J16364300-4132460

September 10, 2011

Event: Nova in Scorpius

Nova Sco 2011 No. 2 = PNV J16364440-4132340 = PNV J16364300-4132460

Discovered Independently by:
 - John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia)
 - Yuji Nakamura (Kameyama, Mie, Japan)
Discovery Date:
 - Seach: 2011 Sep. 06.37 UT (JD 2455810.87)
 - Nakamura: 2011 Sep. 06.4313 (JD 2455810.9313)

10 September Special Notice #254: T Pyx Campaign continues

September 10, 2011:  The outbursting recurrent nova T Pyx is past solar conjunction and is widely observable again. Arto Oksanen in Finland has been following it through July and August and reports it currently at 10th magnitude. Please add T Pyx back to your observing schedule if possible to follow the decline of its outburst.

10 September Special Notice #253: Request for Observations of MAXI J1836-194

September 10, 2011: Dr. Gregory Sivakoff (U. of Alberta) requests observations of the X-ray binary star MAXI J1836-194 as part of the JACPOT collaboration studying stellar radio jets from compact binaries.  There is no predetermined duration for this campaign, but observations are requested now to coincide with ongoing X-ray and radio observations.

09 September Supernova Chat 13 Sept at 4:00PM ET

Supernova 2011fe has been gaining a lot of interest, and not just among astronomers, either! News of SN 2011fe made "The News Hour" for instance.

08 September Special Notice #252: Upcoming Eclipse of Zeta Aurigae

September 8, 2011:

Jeff Hopkins (Hopkins Phoenix Observatory, Phoenix, AZ) communicates regarding the upcoming eclipse of the 4th-magnitude binary system zeta Aurigae. He writes:

06 September Supernova 2011fe: La supernova más brillante de los últimos 20 años

This is also available in English

06 September Special Notice #251: Possible transient in Scorpius
September 6, 2011: John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia) reports the detection of a transient object in Scorpius, having a magnitude of 9.8 on 2011 September 6.37 UT (JD 2455810.87).  Observations were made with a DSLR and 50mm f/1.2 lens and 5 second exposure, with limiting magnitude 10.5.  The object is visible on four separate frames taken after the discovery was made.          
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