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News and Announcements

15 October Three recent JAAVSO preprints

"Absolute Magnitudes and Distances of Recent Novae" by Yitping Kok

"Ross 4—A Possible Recurrent Nova?" by Samantha J. Brown, O. F. Mills, Wayne Osborn, and Vivian Hoette

"A Simple, Portable Apparatus to Measure Night Sky Brightness at Various Zenith Angles" by Jennifer Birriel and James Kevin Adkins

12 October AAVSO Special Notice #219

Eclipse of the symbiotic star CI Cygni

11 October AAVSO Abstracts 1951 - 1971

This is part of our ongoing series to highlight new features of the new AAVSO web site.

Matt Templeton scanned all of the abstracts and put them online in PDF format. The abstracts cover items presented at meetings, but often include much more info than a modern day abstract. For example, the last issue includes abstracts that are over 3 pages long, meeting memories, history of the AAVSO articles and even a poem! Here is his description of the abstracts from the first paragraph on the web page:

07 October AAVSO 2011 Calendar Survey

The AAVSO is making another calendar! The calendar for 2011, our Centennial year, and will include lots of AAVSO historical notes - important dates, pictures of how variable star observing has evolved in the last 100 years, notes about the legacy of our Directors. We're still planning the last details, but we expect the cost to be between $10 and $15 each (including shipping). We're planning on having the calendars finished and ready to ship out during November.  This is one memento from the AAVSO that you don't want to miss!

05 October Alert Notice 426: Rescheduled request for observations of V455 AND in support of HST observations

October 5, 2010: As originally announced in AAVSO Alert Notice 423, Dr. Paula Szkody (U. Washington) has requested the help of AAVSO observers in monitoring the WZ Sge-type cataclysmic variable V455 And in support of Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectroscopic observations.

01 October Alert Notice 425: Monitoring of HBC 722 and VSX J205126.1+440523 Requested

October 1, 2010: Dr. Colin Aspin (U. Hawai'i) has requested the help of AAVSO observers in performing long-term photometric monitoring of the two new young stellar objects (YSOs) in Cygnus, HBC 722 and VSX J205126.1+440523 (see AAVSO Special Notice #216).  

22 September RR Lyrae

RR Lyrae, 1 degree field, DSS I survey plate
(copyright 1993-1995 CalTech/STScI)

21 September Mystery in the Sky Documentary

Sept. 24 Update: The goal has been met! Click here for Guustaaf's update. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

21 September APASS: The AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey

APASS: The AAVSO Photometric All-Sky Survey

Data release 1 of APASS occurred on 2010 September 10, and contained photometry for approximately four million stars distributed among several hundred discrete fields between -10.15 < Dec < +87.35.  Data release 2 occurred on 2011 February 10, and included an additional four million stars from the southern hemisphere, acquired from our site at CTIO.   Data Release 3 occurred on 2011 August 10, and further extended southern hemisphere coverage.

21 September AAVSO Special Notice #218

Outburst of the UGWZ star SDSS J080434.20+510349.2

14 September Alert Notice 424: Monitoring and Study of V2672 Oph

September 14, 2010: V2672 Oph (Nova Oph 2009) was discovered by Koichi Itagaki in outburst on August 16, 2009 (see AAVSO Alert Notice 402 and IAUC 9064).  It peaked at about magnitude 12, and rapidly faded.  Low- and medium-resolution spectroscopy showed broad, prominent H_alpha emission with FWHM 11500 km/s on top of a featureless, but very red, continuum.

09 September Longtime AAVSOer Wins Prestigious Award

Longtime AAVSO Member and past AAVSO Council Member, Doug Welch, has been awarded the prestigious McNeil Medal by the Royal Society of Canada.  For more information see the announcement on McMaster University's web site.

02 September AAVSO Special Notice #217

SN 2010hg in NGC 3001

September 2, 2010: We have been notified by Dan Green, Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, that Berto Monard (MLF), Pretoria, South Africa, has discovered a bright supernova (discovered at 15.0, brightened to 14.7 in 24 hours) in NGC 3001. Here are details quoted from CBET 2434 (Green, ed.):

30 August Alert Notice 423: Request for observations of V455 AND in support of HST observations

August 30, 2010: Dr. Paula Szkody (U. Washington) has requested the help of AAVSO observers in monitoring the WZ Sge-type cataclysmic variable V455 And in support of Hubble Space Telescope ultraviolet spectroscopic observations scheduled for 6:55-15:20 2010 September 11 UT (the night of Friday, September 10/11) (JD 2455450.78819 - 2455451.13889). Observations are requested beginning immediately and continuing through September 20. This monitoring is crucial to these observations.

27 August AAVSO Special Notice #216

Two new FU Orionis variables in Cygnus

24 August 99th Fall Meeting of the AAVSO

Hilton Hotel

Woburn, Massachusetts
Oct. 28-30, 2010

24 August New AAVSO Chat Room

We have installed new chat room software. Click the link below to test it out for us. We think it is easier to use than the old software and also works in more web browser clients. You can also create your own private chat rooms for discussion with other members.

Please send comments and suggestions to Thanks!

24 August AAVSO Special Notice #215

Brightening of the symbiotic star CI Cyg

18 August Charts and Sequences Update

The charts and sequences team has been busy updating old and creating
new sequences for AAVSO variable star charts.

Tom Bretl and Tim Crawford in particular have been very ambitious, and
I would like to extend my own personal "thank you for a job well
done". They have devoted literally hundreds of hours of work to this
effort in the last couple years, resulting in almost 600 chart

05 August AAVSO Facebook page reaches 2000 fans!

After passing the 1500 fans mark in April, the number of fans on the AAVSO Facebook page has grown steadily over the last four months. Tuesday, August 3, when we were just 137 people shy of the 2000 fans mark, a call went out to our members and friends through Facebook and Twitter to help us recruit enough new fans to get us over that benchmark. By 16:00UT on Thursday we had eclipsed the 2000 mark, and our ranks are still growing.

01 August AAVSO Special Notice #214

Outburst of V592 Her

August 1, 2010: Maciej Reszelski has reported an outburst of V592 Her
at CR=14.14mag. This WZ Sge variable last had a superoutburst
on August 26, 1998, when it reached 12th magnitudes.
In quiescence, V592 Her is fainter than 20th magnitude.

V592 Her is located at RA 16 30 56.37 DEC +21 16 58.2 (J2000).

30 July AAVSO Special Notice #213

Request for observations of high-mass X-ray binaries

July 30, 2010: Dr. Gordon Sarty, University of Saskatchewan,
Canada, requests our continuing assistance in his ongoing observations
of High Mass X-ray Binaries (HMXBs). Dr. Sarty provides the following
text for the current request:

Please obtain BVRI photometry (or any subset thereof, VI
preferred) of the following four HMXBs for the time period of

26 July New Site: List of AAVSO Users

Over the next few months we will post a number of quick tips pointing out some new features/changes with the new web site. 

The first tip is about seeing who your fellow users are. Clicking on the URL below will give you a list of all registered users on the site:

26 July New Web Site Update!

100726 Update: Arne has posted an update to the migration to the AAVSO Discussion Group. We will continue to update the known bug list over the next few days. Please continue to send in comments and bugs. And don't forget to join us in the chat room on Monday.

16 July Alert Notice 422: Observing Campaign on Hubble's First Variable in M31: M31_V1

July 16, 2010: An observing campaign is being carried out on M31_V1, the first variable star discovered in M31 by Edwin Hubble. The Hubble Heritage Team, with Dr. Keith Noll, Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), as Principal Investigator, plans to observe M31_V1 with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and needs to know the phase of this Cepheid variable. Although basic parameters are known for this star, no recent photometry exists, so observations are required to generate current phase information.

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