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News and Announcements

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

http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso

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:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2YYX9JQ

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

 

http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso

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.          
05 September New Supernovae Photometry Discussion Forum

http://www.aavso.org/forums/supernovae-photometry

02 September Supernova 2011fe: The brightest supernova in the last 20 years

También disponible en español

02 September AAVSO Receives National Science Foundation Award

The AAVSO has been awarded a new grant from the National Science Foundation. This one is for 3 years and ~$660,000. As with Citizen Sky, it is from their Informal Science Education program. It is titled "Two Eyes, 3D: Studying Stereoscopic Representations in Informal Settings". Aaron Price is the PI with Co-PIs from Tufts University (Dr.

01 September Visual Observing Manual - Portuguese Version

Thanks to the hard work and perseverance of David Duarte and his colleagues at the Centro de Estudos Astronômico de Alagoas (CEAAL), there is now a version of the AAVSO Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars available for download here:

http://www.aavso.org/visual-observing-manual-portuguese

We hope that this manual will be helpful to all of our many Portuguese-speaking observers and that you will feel free to share it with others.

30 August New eJAAVSO preprint: "Secular Variation of the Mode Amplitude-Ratio of the Double-Mode RR Lyrae Star NSVS 5222076, Part II, by D. Hurdis and T. Krajci

"Secular Variation of the Mode Amplitude-Ratio of the Double=Mode RR Lyrae Star NSVS 5222076, Part II, by D. Hurdis and T. Krajci

http://www.aavso.org/ejaavso

25 August Alert Notice 446: Supernova 2011‭fe ‬in M101‭ (‬NGC 5457‭) = ‬PSN J14030581+5416254

August 26‭, ‬2011

Discovered by‭:  ‬The Type Ia supernova science working group of the‭ ‬ Palomar Transient Factory‭:  ‬Peter Nugent‭, ‬Lawrence Berkeley National‭ ‬Laboratory‭ (‬LBL‭), ‬University of California at Berkeley‭; ‬Mark‭ ‬Sullivan‭, ‬Oxford University‭; ‬David Bersier‭, ‬Liverpool John Moores‭ ‬University‭ (‬LJMU‭); ‬D‭. ‬A‭. ‬Howell‭, ‬Las Cumbres Observatory Global‭ ‬Telescope Network Inc‭., ‬University of California at Santa Barbara‭; ‬Rollin Thomas‭, ‬LBL‭; ‬Phil James‭, ‬LJMU

24 August Special Notice #250: Possible Type-Ia Supernova in M101

P. Nugent et al. report in ATel #3581 that a possible Type-Ia supernova has been discovered by the Palomar Transient Factory shortly after eruption in the galaxy M101 and has been designated "PTF11kly".  The object is currently at a magnitude of g=17.2, but may well rise by several magnitudes. The object is well placed within M101 for good photometry, and observations of this potential bright SNIa are strongly encouraged.

The (J2000) coordinates reported for the object are

    RA: 14:03:05.81 , Dec: +54:16:25.4

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