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News and Announcements

29 May Solar Bulletin - Volume 68, Number 4

The April 2012 Solar Bulletin is now available.

26 May Special Notice #284 - NOVA OPHIUCHI 2012 No. 2 = PNV J17395600-2447420

26 May 2012IAU CBET 3124 (Daniel W. E. Green, ed.) announces the discovery by John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia) of a nova in Ophiuchus on 2012 May 19.484 UT at magnitude 10.5 (digital SLR camera + 50-mm f/1.0 lens). Seach reports nothing is visible at this position on the Digitized Sky Survey. The object was designated PNV J17395600-2447420 when it was posted on the Central Bureau's TOCP webpage (

25 May Two new eJAAVSO preprints: on RR Lyr stars and on Digital Archiving

(ej191): "Digital Archiving: Where the Past Lives Again" by K. B. Paxson

(ej190): "RR Lyrae Stars: Cosmic Lighthouses With a Twist" by K. Kolenberg

24 May 2012 Spring Director's Report Now Online!

The 2012 Spring Director's Report presented during the AAVSO Meeting held in Big Bear, CA, was recorded and is now online to download and view.

Please click here to download the video. When unzipped it is an .wmv file which, with appropriate software, will be viewable on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems.

24 May Two new eJAAVSO preprints: on symbiotic stars and on RS Gru

(ej189): "Symbiotic Stars" by U. Munari

(ej188): "The Pulsational Behavior of the High Amplitude d Scuti Star RS Gruis" by J. R. García

23 May Special Notice #283: Supernova 2012cg IN NGC 4424 = PSN J12271283+0925132

May 23, 2012: IAU Central Bureau Electronic Telegram 3111 (Daniel W. E. Green, ed.) announces the LOSS discovery (reported by M. Kandrashoff, S. B. Cenko, W. Li, and A. V. Filippenko) of a supernova in NGC 4424 on 2012 May 17.22 at unfiltered magnitude 16.9.

Spectra indicating the object to be a Type Ia supernova discovered about two weeks before maximum were obtained by:

22 May Spring 2012 Director's Report to be broadcast online!

Join us on Wednesday, May 23rd at approximately 7:15pm Pacific/10:15pm Eastern/2:15 UT for Arne Henden's Director's Report.  On the heels of the very successful "Astro-April" series of webinar broadcasts for the Citizen Sky celebration and as part of the Spring 2012 Meeting being held jointly with SAS in Big Bear, California we are using GoToWebinar to broadcast Arne's talk.

Click here any time between now and the talk to register for the broadcast. (Mac or Windows)

21 May Special Notice #282: Apparent fading of V854 Cen

May 21, 2012: The R CrB star V854 Cen appears to be fading from maximum, according to recent observations reported to the AAVSO:

2012 May 17.1313 UT, 7.2 (B. Cudnik, Houston, TX);
17.380, 7.4 (P. Williams, Heathcote, NSW, Australia);
17.5069, 7.3 (D. Leys, Warrimoo, NSW, Australia);
17.5181, 7.4 (A. Plummer, Linden, NSW, Australia);
18.2125, 7.4 (Cudnik);
18.4917, 7.4 (Plummer);
19.1458, 7.5 (Cudnik);
19.3264, 7.35 (M. Linnolt, Ocean View, HI);

21 May New eJAAVSO preprint: Observations of Cataclysmic, RR Lyr, and High Amplitude d Scuti (HADS) Variable Stars

(ej187): "Intensive Observations of Cataclysmic, RR Lyr, and High Amplitude d Scuti (HADS) Variable Stars" by F. Hambsch

15 May New eJAAVSO preprint: Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting

(ej186): "Adverse Health Effects of Nighttime Lighting" by M. Motta

15 May Special Notice #281: Revised timetable for AE Aqr MAGIC observations

15 May 2012: Dr. Christopher Mauche, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has informed us that the timetable of MAGIC telescope  observations of the intermediate polar cataclysmic variable AE Aqr announced in AAVSO Alert Notice 458 has been revised. Here is the revised timetable for the dates in May and early June:

2012 May
16, 3:30 - 4:49 UT
17, 3:21 - 4:49
18, 3:17 - 4:49
19, 3:13 - 4:47
20, 3:09 - 3:53
21, 3:06 - 3:49

14 May New eJAAVSO preprint: on RASNZ-VSS and Variable Stars South

(ej185): "The RASNZ Variable Star Section and Variable Stars South" by A. Jones and S. Walker

11 May Two new eJAAVSO preprints: on Clint Ford; on BAA-VSS history

(ej183): "An Appreciation of Clinton B. Ford and the AAVSO of Fifty Years Ago" by T. Hull

(ej184): "British Astronomical Association Variable Star Section, 1890–2011" by J. Toone

11 May Alert Notice 458: Multiwavelength observing campaign on AE Aqr

NOTE: Table of MAGIC observations revised 14 and 15 May 2012 per Dr. Christopher Mauche.

10 May New eJAAVSO preprint: On the usefulness of Type Ia Supernovae

(ej182): "The Usefulness of Type Ia Supernovae for Cosmology—A Personal Review" by K. Krisciunas

10 May New eJAAVSO preprint: on Frank Elmore Ross

(ej181): "Frank Elmore Ross and His Variable Star Discoveries" by W. Osborn

10 May New eJAAVSO preprint: Progress Report for Adapting APASS Data Releases for the Calibration of Harvard Plates

(ej180): "Progress Report for Adapting APASS Data Releases for the Calibration of Harvard Plates" by E. Los

09 May New eJAAVSO preprint: The Visual Era of the AAVSO EB Program

(ej179): "The Visual Era of the AAVSO Eclipsing Binary Program" by D. B. Williams, M. E. Baldwin, G. Samolyk

09 May Special Notice #280: HST UV spectroscopy observations of S Dor scheduled

May 9, 2012: We have been informed by Dr. Noel Richardson, Georgia State University, that the UV spectroscopy observations of S Dor to be made with the Hubble Space Telescope have been scheduled for

2012 MAY 11 from 21:21:55 UT to 23:55:04 UT.

08 May Special Notice #279: Request for monitoring of SS Cygni in support of European VLBI radio observations

7 May 2012:  As mentioned in AAVSO Alert Notice 445 in August 2011 and AAVSO Special Notice #258 in October 2011, Dr.

04 May New eJAAVSO preprint: The “Werkgroep Veranderlijke Sterren” of Belgium

(ej178): "The “Werkgroep Veranderlijke Sterren” of Belgium" by P. Wils, E. Broens, H. Hautecler, F. Van Loo

04 May New eJAAVSO preprint: Interferometry and the Cepheid Distance Scale

(ej177): "Interferometry and the Cepheid Distance Scale" by T. G. Barnes, III

04 May GET API access to Variable Star Database

The Variable Star Database (VSD) is the collection of comparison stars plotted with our Variable Star Plotter (VSP). We have created an API for the public to query the VSD and get back photometry on those comparison stars. This is basically the same data shown in the "photometry table" option of VSP, except it is in a delimited format easily parsed by automated software. In other words, you can use this format for your own scripts/software/etc.

04 May New eJAAVSO preprint: on Variable Star Observers

(ej176): "Variable Star Observers I Have Known" by C. E. Scovil

04 May New eJAAVSO preprint: on Helen Sawyer Hogg

(ej175): "The Stars Belong to Everyone: Astronomer and Science Writer Helen Sawyer Hogg (1905–1993)" by M. J. Cahill

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