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News and Announcements

13 March Special Notice #400: BF Cyg observations requested

March 13, 2015: Dr. George Wallerstein (University of Washington) informed us that the symbiotic variable BF Cygni has brightened considerably over the past few weeks, and he is currently obtaining spectroscopy of it.  

13 March Alert Notice 511: Monitoring requested for developing planetary systems dust production study

March 13, 2015: Dr. George Rieke (University of Arizona) and colleagues have requested AAVSO assistance in monitoring four stars with developing planetary systems. The targets are RZ Psc, HD 15407A, V488 Per, and HD 23514. This campaign is similar to the one conducted in 2013 (see AAVSO Alert Notice 482).

13 March 104th Spring Meeting of the AAVSO

The 2015 Spring Meeting of the AAVSO was held June 4-6 at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.   As many of you may know, 2015 is the International Year of Light.

13 March Solar Bulletin - Volume 71, Number 2

The February Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy:

http://www.aavso.org/solar-bulletin

The February SID Data report is available here: www.aavso.org/sid-database

Thank you Rodney and Kim for putting these publications together!

12 March Special Notice #399: GK Per in outburst

March 12, 2015: The old nova GK Per (N Per 1901), which has dwarf nova outbursts, is going into outburst, according to observations submitted to the AAVSO International Database:

10 March New JAAVSO preprint: New Variable Stars Discovered by the APACHE Survey. II.

eJAAVSO

New Variable Stars Discovered by the APACHE Survey. II. Results After the Second Observing Season

Mario Damasso

INAF-Astrophysical Observatory of Torino, Via Osservatorio 20, I-10025 Pino Torinese, Italy; Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, fraz. Lignan 39, 11020 Nus (Aosta), Italy

05 March Alert Notice 510: Observations of the symbiotic nova ASAS J174600-2321.3

March 5, 2015: The AAVSO is requesting observations of the symbiotic nova candidate ASAS J174600-2321.3 during the predicted upcoming eclipse of this system. Observers are asked to begin observing immediately (2015 March 5), and continue observations through the end of July 2015.  Both visual and instrumental observations are encouraged; the object was at V=12.28 on 2015 February 6.764 (OCN; S.

03 March AAVSO Communications

AAVSO Communications was launched in March 2015. The purpose of this monthly email is to highlight new initiatives and ongoing projects in a concise way which we hope you will find informative. Sometimes there is just so much going on that it is hard to keep track of it all. We hope that AAVSO Communications will make it easier for you to see what is happening and follow the links to read more about what interests you.

26 February AAVSO Bulletin 78 for 2015 published

AAVSO Bulletin 78 - Predicted Dates of Maxima and Minima of 380 Long Period Variables for 2015 has been published. 

The Bulletin is an essential aid in planning your LPV observing program! Generate a custom version of the Bulletin tailored to your observing needs, or download the Bulletin in PDF or CSV format. Find a list of legacy LPVs in need of observation here as well.

26 February Landolt Standards and 21st Century Photometry

Arlo Landolt should be familiar to most of the AAVSO community, not only as a friend and former councillor of the AAVSO, but as one of the leading figures of astronomical photometry and photometric calibrations.  Arlo Landolt's work on standard stars has set the standard -- very literally -- for astronomical photometry for nearly half a century.

18 February Alert Notice 509: Nova Sagittarii 2015 = PNV J18142514-2554343

February 18, 2015

Event: Nova Sagittarii 2015 = PNV J18142514-2554343

Discovered independently by:
- Hideo Nishimura (Shizuoka-ken, Japan)
- Koichi Nishiyama (Kurume, Japan) and Fujio Kabashima (Miyaki, Japan)

Discovery magnitude:
- Nishimura: DSLR magnitude 11.2, using 200-mm f/3.2 lens + digital camera
- Nishiyama and Kabashima: unfiltered CCD magnitude 10.9, using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens (+SBIG STL6303E camera)

17 February Alert Notice 508: Nova Scorpii 2015 == PNV J17032620-3504140

February 17, 2015

Event: Nova Scorpii 2015 = PNV J17032620-3504140

Discovered by: Tadashi Kojima, Gunma-ken, Japan

Discovery magnitude: unfiltered DSLR magnitude 8.1, using a 150-mm f/2.8 lens and digital camera

Discovery date: 2015 February 11.837 UT

Coordinates: RA: 17 03 26.18 , Decl: -35 04 17.6

13 February Special Notice #398: Bright Transient in Sgr (PNV J18142514-2554343)

Patrick Schmeer (SPK, Bischmisheim, Germany) reports the announcement on the CBAT Transient Object Confirmation Page (TOCP) of the discovery of a bright transient in Sgr on 2015 February 12.852 at an unfiltered magnitude of 10.9 by K. Nishiyama, using a 105-mm f/4 camera lens with an SBIG STL6303E CCD camera.  Nishiyama notes nothing is present on a previous image from 2015 February 02.887.  The transient has been independently confirmed with two pre-discovery images: by H. Nishimura (Shizuoka-ken, Japan) at magnitude 11.2 on 2015 February 12.840, and by T.

12 February CCD Photometry Guide update

The AAVSO Guide to CCD Photometry version 1.1 is now available for download.

This version contains several corrections and clarifications based on feedback from Ken Menzies and Tim Crawford. Thanks you two!

If you have comments or find inconsistencies, please send them to me and we will consider them for inclusion in the next revision.

Sara Beck, AAVSO Technical Assistant (sara@aavso.org)

12 February Special Notice #397: Bright Transient in Sco (PNV J17032620-3504140)

February 11, 2015: Patrick Schmeer (SPK, Bischmisheim, Germany) reports the announcement on the CBAT Transient Object Confirmation Page (TOCP) of the discovery of a bright transient in Sco on 2015 February 11.8367 UT at unfiltered CCD magnitude 8.2 by Tadashi Kojima (Gunma-ken, Japan) using a 150-mm f/2.8 lens + a digital camera. Kojima reports nothing is visible on a frame from the same camera on Feb. 10.827 UT.

09 February Campaign highlight: b Persei

Some of the best opportunities for contributing to astronomical research come through the AAVSO's Observing Campaigns, which are observing projects requested by individual researchers with a specific goal in mind. Some Campaigns are designed to last for a long time, and the results aren't known until well after the campaign concludes.  But some campaigns pay off immediately.  Our campaign on the bright star b Persei is an example of the latter, with a handful of AAVSO observers getting exactly the right data, at the right time, right away!

23 January Charts and Sequences Update January 2015

With APASS data release 8 filling in most of the remaining areas of sky with reliable secondary standards, the sequence team has been busy filling the remaining standing requests. This latest batch of new and revised sequences also has many newly discovered CVs from ASASSN, as well as sequences for RCB, NR and ZAND objects in the AID and VSX. You can downoad the list as either an .xlsx or .csv file.

21 January AAVSO Newsletter for January 2015 is published

AAVSO Newsletter 63, January 2015 is now available to members

The AAVSO Newsletter is a periodic, general forum that supports our various observing programs with lists of new targets, observing programming ideas, and general information that spans a wide area of interest. Guest writers contribute pieces that can range from current events to book reviews.

20 January New eJAAVSO preprint: An eclipsing symbiotic nova in outburst?

ej295

The Curious Case of ASAS J174600-2321.3: an Eclipsing Symbiotic Nova in Outburst?

Stefan Hümmerich
Stiftstr. 4, Braubach, D-56338, Germany; American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Cambridge, MA;
Bundesdeutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Veränderliche Sterne e.V. (BAV), Berlin, Germany

Sebastián Otero
Olazabal 3650-8 C, Buenos Aires, 1430, Argentina; American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO), Cambridge, MA

19 January Special Notice #396: Blazar PKS 0716+71 in very bright outburst

January 19, 2015: The blazar PKS 0716+71 == S5 0716+71 is currently in a very bright active state, at a visual magnitude of 12.1 as observed by G. Poyner on 2015 January 19.212 (JD 2457041.712).  The object was first noted in outburst by Arkharov et al.

19 January Two new eJAAVSO preprints: Maxima of 67 SPPs; Longterm monitoring of semiregulars

eJAAVSO

ej294

Recent Maxima of 67 Short Period Pulsating Stars

Gerard Samolyk

P.O. Box 20677, Greenfield, WI 53220

Received January 8, 2015; accepted January 8, 2015

Abstract

16 January Special Notice #395: Alpha Com campaign cancelled

January 16, 2015: We have been informed by PI Dr. Matthew Muterspaugh that his campaign on alpha Com (AAVSO Alert Notice 506) has been cancelled. Position measurements published a century ago contained errors that affected the predictions for the time of eclipse.

More information will be coming from Dr. Muterspaugh and we will disseminate it to everyone in an Alert Notice, but he asked that the observer community be informed now so that observing efforts might not be wasted.

14 January Solar Bulletin - Volume 70, Number 12
The December 2014 Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy: http://www.aavso.org/solar-bulletin
14 January New eJAAVSO preprint: Revised elements of 78 southern EB systems

ejaavso292

Revised Light Elements of 78 Southern Eclipsing Binary Systems

Margaret Streamer, Jeff Byron, David J. W. Moriarty, Tom Richards, Bill Allen, Roy Axelsen, Col Bembrick, Mark Blackford, Terry Bohlsen, David Herald, Roland Idaczyk, Stephen Kerr, Ranald McIntosh, Yenal Ogmen, Jonathan Powles, Peter Starr, George Stockham

Abstract

12 January Special Notice #394: Observations of b Persei urgently requested

January 12, 2015: Photometry by P. Benni (AAVSO observer code BPAD; Massachusetts, United States), D. Collins (CDK; North Carolina, United States), F. Campos (CFRA; Catalunya, Spain), and F. Melillo (MFR; New York, United States) suggest that b Persei may have entered eclipse around JD 2457033.6 (2015 January 11.1 UT). Time-series photometric observations of this bright star are urgently requested beginning immediately, and continuing for the next two weeks (through at least 2015 January 26 UT) and possibly beyond.

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484