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News and Announcements

26 February ASP 125th Annual Meeting

The Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) will hold its 125th Annual Meeting on "Ensuring STEM Literacy" in San Jose, CA from July 20 to July 24, 2013.  Early bird registration has begun and abstracts are currently being accepted.  Please visit the ASP meeting page for more information.

24 February Professional Astronomers: Invitation to Participate in an AAVSO Survey

The American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) invites the participation of professional astronomers in our "Professional Astronomer Survey of 2013."

21 February Special Notice #338: HM Leo HST/COS observations tomorrow; V406 Vir is next target

February 21, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #336 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe HM Leo tomorrow:

    HM Leo  2013 February 22 07:17:20 through 14:22:37 UT

18 February Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 1

The January 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available.

17 February Alert Notice 479: Supernova 2013aa in NGC 5643 = PSN J14323388-4413278

February 17, 2013

Event: Supernova 2013aa in NGC 5643 = PSN J14323388-4413278

Discovered by: Stuart Parker (Canterbury, New Zealand)

Discovery Date: 2013 Feb. 13.621 UT

Discovery Magnitude
: red mag 11.9 on a 30-s unfiltered CCD image taken with a 30-cm Astro-Tech AT12RC Ritchey-Chretien astrograph (+ ST10 camera) at his Parkdale Observatory in the course of the Backyard Observatory Supernova Search (BOSS)

17 February Aviso Especial de AAVSO #337 (actualizado): supernova brillante de tipo Ia en la galaxia NGC 5643 (Lupus)

17 de febrero de 2013: Stuart Parker (Canterbury, Nueva Zelanda), del equipo BOSS, ha descubierto una brillante supernova en la galaxia espiral NGC 5643 en la constelación de Lupus.
Originalmente el objeto fue anunciado en la página de confirmación de objetos transitorios de la CBAT, IAU donde se le dio la designación provisoria PSN J14323388-4413278.

15 February Special Notice #337: Bright transient near the galaxy NGC 5643 (Lupus)

February 15, 2013: As noted by Alexandre Amorim in the AAVSO Forums, a bright transient has appeared in the fringes of the face-on spiral galaxy NGC 5643, and has been published on the Transient Objects Confirmation Page at Harvard.

12 February Special Notice #336: Next three HST/COS CV campaign targets

February 12, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #330 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe BB Dor on:

     BB Dor  2013 February 13 20:57:03 through 23:53:50 UT

12 February Special Notice #335: Revised Coordinates for GR Ori (Nova Ori 1916)

February 12, 2013: The coordinates issued with AAVSO Special Notice #334 ( were incorrect; they were taken from an article by Robertson et al. (2000AJ....119.1365R).

The correct coordinates for GR Ori are:

     R.A. 05 21 34.98  Dec +01 10 10.2  (2000.0)

The webpage version of AAVSO Special Notice #334 has been updated with these coordinates.

11 February Special Notice #334: Outburst of the possible old nova GR Ori

February 11, 2013: Observer Rod Stubbings (Tetoora Road, Vic., Australia) reports an outburst of the suspected old nova GR Ori (== Nova Ori 1916), observing the star at a visual magnitude of 13.0 on 2013 February 11.476 UT (JD 2456334.976).  This observation was confirmed by observer Stephen Hovell (Kaitaia, New Zealand), who also reported the star at 13.0 on February 11.461.

06 February Special Notice #333: Eclipse underway in b Per and photometry needed urgently

February 6, 2013: According to photometry provided by Don Collins (CDK, Swannanoa, NC), the eclipse in the b Per system (HD 26961), predicted for around 2013 January 25, is underway now and began February 4-5. Photometry - multicolor if possible - is urgently needed now to cover the rest of this eclipse, which may last for up to four days altogether, and see post-eclipse behavior of the system.

05 February Special Notice #332: Observations of IR Com crucial now through February 8

February 5, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice 330 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe IR Com on:

                                    IR Com   2013 February 8 00:38:46 through 05:57:49 UT

05 February Star names containing the Greek letters µ and ν, and the case of “u” versus “U”

When searching for a star in the International Variable Star Index (VSX) or reporting observations to the AAVSO International Database via WebObs, it is not possible to enter a Greek letter if the star has a Greek letter as part of its name – one cannot search for “µ Cep” or “ν Pav”. There has been ongoing confusion about how to spell out some of the Greek letters used in star names, and in particular about how to spell out µ and ν.

02 February Special Notice #331: Nova Cephei 2013 = PNV J23080471+6046521

February 2, 2013:  A nova in Cepheus has been reported, confirmed, and confirmed as a nova spectroscopically. An AAVSO Alert Notice will follow after an official announcement from the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, but basic information is given here for immediate reference.

02 February Special Notice #330: Next HST/COS targets are IR Com and BB Dor

February 2, 2013:  Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 (, the next HST/COS target is the SU UMa-type dwarf nova IR Com. HST/COS observations are scheduled for:

     IR Com   2013 February 8 00:38:46 through 05:57:49 UT

29 January Special Notice #329: Critical time for CV Campaign HST/COS target SDSS J100515.38+191107.9

January 29, 2013:  SDSS J100515.38+191107.9 is the upcoming target for the HST/COS CV Campaign (see AAVSO Alert Notice 471 and AAVSO Observing Campaigns page ( for details and related Special Notices). Dr. Gaensicke writes:

"We are now entering the critical phase before the HST observations of SDSS1005+1911, scheduled for

29 January Special Notice #328: HST/COS observing U Gem 2013 January 30

January 29, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 475 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #327 (, HST/COS will be observing the dwarf nova U Gem on

                                        2013 January 30 21:31:12 - 23:36:16 UT

24 January Special Notice #327: HST/COS observations scheduled for U Gem

January 24, 2013:  Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 475 (,  HST/COS observations of U Gem have been scheduled for  2013 January 30 21:31:12 - 23:36:16 UT.

24 January Special Notice #326: Next HST/COS target is SDSS J100515.38+191107.9

January 24, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 (, the next HST COS target is the SU UMa-type dwarf nova SDSS J100515.38+191107.9. HST COS is scheduled to observe it:

22 January 2013 Eclipsing Binary Ephemeris online

The Eclipsing Binary ephemeris for 2013, prepared by Gerry Samolyk, is on the AAVSO website at

21 January Special Notice #325: BB Dor monitoring requested for Swift and HST observations

January 21, 2013: AAVSO observations are requested of the SW Sex-type novalike variable BB Dor in support of one and possibly two sets of multiwavelength observations: Dr. Tomohito Ohshima (Department of Astronomy, Kyoto University) and colleagues have triggered Target of Opportunity observations with NASA's Swift gamma-ray burst satellite, and Dr. Boris Gaensicke (Warwick University) is hoping to observe BB Dor in the ultraviolet with HST.

21 January Special Notice #324: LT Eri (SDSS J040714.78-064425.1) is next HST COS target

January 21, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #309 (, the next HST COS target is the dwarf nova LT Eri (SDSS J040714.78-064425.1). HST COS is scheduled to observe it:

17 January The AAVSO Newsletter - January 2013 - is published

AAVSO Newsletter 55 - January 2013

16 January Alert Notice 478: Transformed photometry of young stars in Cha requested

January 16, 2013: Dr. Péter Ábrahám (Konkoly Observatory, Budapest, Hungary) has requested the assistance of AAVSO observers in monitoring eight young stars in Chamaeleon in support of photometry he and his colleagues will be obtaining with the VLT/ISAAC (infrared) and Herschel Space Observatory (far-infrared) during January-February 2013.

15 January Solar Bulletin - Volume 68, Number 12

The December 2012 Solar Bulletin is now available!

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