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18 March Special Notice #343: GK Per outburst appears to be underway

March 18, 2013:  The old nova GK Per (N Per 1901), which has dwarf nova outbursts, appears to be going into outburst, according to observations submitted to the AAVSO International Database:

2013 March 11.03 UT, 13.0 (John Bortle, Stormville, NY);
12.87, 12.8 (Bill Wilson, Grange over Sands, Cumbria, England);
14.83, 12.7 (Gary Poyner, Birmingham, England);
15.02429 UT, 12.6 (Miroslav Komorous, London, ONT, Canada);
15.09443, 12.7 (Larry Shotter, Uniontown, PA);

18 March Special Notice #342: PU CMa, then IY UMa and MR UMa next HST/COS targets

March 18, 2013:  Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe the SU UMa-type dwarf nova PU CMa:

PU CMa   2013 March 22 00:00:43 through 02:36:08 UT

The HST observations of PU UMa may be cancelled/postponed, as PU CMa is currently in outburst, according to observations reported to the AAVSO:

18 March New CHOICE Courses: Final days of registration!

Our two new CHOICE courses begin today. There is still time to register just under the wire! 

"Visual Observing Basics" and "CCD Photometry, Part One" will both will run March 18 through April 12, 2013.  Visit the CHOICE homepage for more details and the registration link!

14 March Special Notice #341: V485 Cen observations crucial tonight through Sunday night

March 14, 2013:  Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #340 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe the dwarf nova V485 Cen on 2013 March 16:

    V485 Cen  2013 March 16 03:02:56 through 09:44:57 UT

13 March Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 2

The February 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available.

12 March Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars - update

The Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars (in English) has just been updated. To download this new and improved version, please visit

Many thanks to Mike Simonsen, Elizabeth Waagen and Matthew Templeton for their input and helpful suggestions.

Sara Beck
AAVSO Technical Staff, Science Team

08 March Alert Notice #480: MR UMa superoutburst coverage requested for HST observations

March 8, 2013:  Dr. Boris Gaensicke (Warwick University) has requested observations of the currently-outbursting SU UMa-type cataclysmic variable MR UMa in preparation for and support of HST observations scheduled for the week 2013 April 4-7.

06 March Special Notice #340: HST/COS observations 2013 March 8 and March 9

March 6, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #339 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe two of the dwarf novae in the CV campaign back-to-back:

on 2013 March 8:
SDSS J103533.03+055158.4  2013 March 8 07:42:37 through 15:04:27 UT
(V=18.8 at minimum, has eclipses)

28 February Special Notice #339: V406 Vir (SDSS J123813.73-033932.9) HST/COS observations early tomorrow

February 28, 2013:  Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 471 ( and AAVSO Special Notice #338 (, HST/COS is scheduled to observe V406 Vir (SDSS J123813.73-033932.9) tomorrow:

           V406 Vir 2013 March 1 08:37:30 through 14:04:33 UT

27 February Bulletin 76 for 2013 published and available online

AAVSO Bulletin 76 - Predicted Dates of Maxima and Minima of Long Period Variables for 2013 - has been published and is available from the AAVSO Bulletin page.

AAVSO Bulletin 76 gives predicted dates for 381 Mira and semiregular variables for the period January 2013 through February 2014. These dates are based on observations in the AAVSO International Database.

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

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