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News and Announcements

12 April Online talk w/Dr. Kevin Marvel, exec officer of the American Astronomical Society

Update: The talk is completed. Videos of this talk, and the others, are available here. Also, here is a link to the policy webcast at STScI that Kevin referred to in his talk.

12 April Students gets first place w/DSLR photometry project

11 April Cornell Lab of Ornithology Survey Request

11 April AAVSO at the Cherry Springs Star Party

Cherry Springs State Park (PA DCNR)

Join fellow AAVSOers gathering at the Cherry Springs Star Party in Pennsylvania June 14-17, 2012!

11 April Alert Notice 457: Monitoring Nova Oph 2012 for multiwavelength observations

April 10, 2012:  Dr. Michael Rupen (National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Socorro, NM) has informed us that he and his colleagues of the EVLA (Expanded Very Large Array) Nova Team are carrying out a multiwavelength campaign on the Fe II-type nova Nova Oph 2012. They have triggered observations with Swift, JVLA (Jansky Very Large Array), SMA (Submillimeter Array), and high-resolution optical spectroscopy. He is requesting AAVSO observations in support.

09 April Join the AAVSO for half off!

From now until April 30, 2012, new members can join the AAVSO for half off the usual price of annual dues. 

Your total cost will be just $40.00. ($30.00 for 2012 dues and a one time $10.00 processing fee. This offer is only for new members.

Within a week or so (depending on where you live) you will receive your new member kit, which includes:

06 April Aviso Especial de AAVSO #274: Objeto variable en Centaurus = TCP J14250600-5845360

5 de abril de 2012:  John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia) reporta su descubrimiento de un objeto variable en Centaurus en 2012, Abr. 4.765 TU  con magnitud 10.8 (6 imágenes (magnitud límite 11.5) obtenidas con una cámara DSLR con lente de 50-mm f/1.0).

05 April Special Notice #274: Variable Object in Centaurus = TCP J14250600-5845360

April 5, 2012:  John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia) reports his discovery of a variable object in Centaurus on 2012 Apr. 4.765 UT at magnitude 10.8 (6 images (limiting magnitude 11.5) obtained using a DSLR with 50-mm f/1.0 lens).

Seach reports no comet or minor planet was visible at the position, and nothing was seen down to magnitude 11.5 on his survey image taken 2012 Apr. 3.728 UT.

Coordinates: RA 14 25 06  Dec -58 45 36 (2000.0)

04 April Alert Notice 456: Monitoring of V854 Cen Requested

April 4, 2012: Bram Ochsendorf (Leiden Observatory, Netherlands) has requested monitoring by AAVSO observers of the R CrB variable V854 Cen in support of observations to be made using the XSHOOTER instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Paranal Observatory in Chile. Ochsendorf and colleagues have already observed V854 Cen at maximum and now need to observe it during a fading episode.

04 April VStar Version 2.13 release

Its been more than a year and many "test versions" in the making, but a new and much improved version of VStar (Version 2.13) is now formally available. To read more about VStar and download a copy, please visit the VStar overview page and click the "Download VStar Now" button. 

03 April Online Talk w/Sky & Telescope Editor Bob Naeye

April 6, 2012 Update: The talk is over and went very well. We had a max of around 22 participants and the interaction with Bob was very informative. We attempted to record the talk using the built-in recording feature of the webinar software we are using (GoToWebinar by Citrix). It created a Windows Media Video (.wmv) file that plays correctly on a few Windows computers we tested on. However, when we tested it on OS X machines using a wide variety of video players we could never get it to fully work. We also attempted to upload it to YouTube and their software rejected the format as well. So we can't promise it will work on all computers. We are investigating alternatives for recording future webinars.

Click here to download a recording of the talk (170MB WMV file).

(There is some technical chit chat at the beginning - you may want to skip 5-10 minutes into the recording for the good stuff)


28 March Special Notice #273: Possible Nova in Ophiuchus = PNV J17260708-2551454

March 28, 2012:  A possible nova in Ophiuchus was announced on the IAU CBAT Transient Objects Confirmation Page (TOCP) page with the name PNV J17260708-2551454. It was discovered by H. Nishimura (Shizuoka-ken, Japan) at unfiltered magnitude 12.1 on 2012 March 25.789 UT on three frames using Canon 200-mm f/3.2 lens + Canon EOS 5D Digital Camera. Spectra suggest that the object is an Fe II-type classical nova.

Coordinates: 17 26 07.01  -25 51 42.69 (J2000.0)

28 March Special Notice #272: Possible Nova in Centaurus = PNV J13410800-5815470

28 March 2012:  A possible nova in Centaurus was announced on the IAU CBAT Transient Objects Confirmation Page (TOCP) page with the name PNV J13410800-5815470. It was discovered by John Seach (Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia) at magnitude 9.2 on 2012 March 23.386 UT using a DSLR with 50 mm f/1.0 lens. Spectra indicate that the object is a classical nova.

Nothing was seen by him down to magnitude 11.0 on his survey images taken on 2012 Mar. 16.396 UT.

27 March Special Notice #271: Correction to AAVSO Special Notice #270

March 27, 2012:  In the email version of AAVSO Special Notice #270 (Possible Recurrent Nova in the LMC = TCP J04550000-7027150), the discovery magnitude was given as U=10.7. It should have been given as unfiltered magnitude 10.7.

We extend our apologies for the error.

This AAVSO Special Notice was compiled by Elizabeth O. Waagen.

27 March Special Notice #270: Possible Recurrent Nova in the LMC = TCP J04550000-7027150

March 27, 2012:  A possible nova in the LMC discovered at unfiltered magnitude 10.7 on 2012 March 26.397 UT (name of discoverer not given) was reported on the IAU CBAT Transient Objects Confirmation Page (TOCP). Spectra indicate the object may be a recurrent nova.

J. Hambsch reports that as of March 28.04 UT, the object appears to be fading fast and is at least one magnitude fainter than 24 hours ago.

Coordinates (2000.0):

24 March Special Notice #269: SUPERNOVA 2012aw IN M95 (NGC 3351) = PSN J10435372+1140177

March 24, 2012:  Most of the information in this Special Notice was announced in IAU CBAT CBET 3054 (Daniel W. E. Green, Ed.). Three independent discoveries of SN 2012aw in M95 are reported:

23 March Special Notice #268: Chandra observations scheduled for CH Cyg and monitoring urgently needed

23 March 2012: The Chandra X-ray satellite observations of the symbiotic variable CH Cyg have been scheduled as part of Dr. Margarita Karovska's (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) campaign. Please see AAVSO Alert Notice 454 and AAVSO Special Notice #267 for complete details on this observing campaign. The HST observations of CH Cyg have already been made.

16 March Alert Notice 455: V834 CAR = Nova Car 2012 = TCP J10502000-6406480

March 16, 2012: V834 CAR = Nova Car 2012 = TCP J10502000-6406480

Discovered by: John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW, Australia

Discovery Magnitude: 10.2 on 3 images with digital SLR, 50 mm f/1.0 lens

Discovery date: 2012 February 26.543 UT

Coordinates: RA 10 50 19.66  Dec. -64 06 46.7 (J2000.0)
Coordinates from A. Oksanen and C. Harlingten (see Note b).

16 March Solar Bulletin - Volume 68, Number 2

The February 2012 Solar Bulletin is now available.

15 March Special Notice #267: HST observations of CH Cyg scheduled and monitoring urgently needed

March 15, 2012:  As announced in AAVSO Alert Notice 454 (, Dr. Margarita Karovska, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, has requested multiband photometry (all possible bands), high-speed photometry, spectroscopy, and visual observations of the symbiotic variable CH Cyg in support of HST and Chandra observations. She is studying the central region of CH Cyg and its jet.

14 March New eJAAVSO preprint: Effect of Online Sunspot Data on Visual Solar Observers by K. Larsen

New eJAAVSO preprint (ej155): "The Effect of Online Sunspot Data on Visual Solar Observers" by K. Larsen

10 March Dr. John Percy Wins CASCA's inaugural Qilak Award


09 March Charts and Sequences Update March 2012

New data released from the AAVSO Photometric All Sky Survey (APASS) has allowed us to revise, repair and update many reported chart errors as well as create new sequences for variable star sequence requests and regions of the sky previously lacking reliable photometry. As a result, the following stars have new or revised sequences, and you should update your records accordingly.

06 March New eJAAVSO preprint: "Recent Minima of 150 EB Stars" by G. Samolyk

"Recent Minima of 150 Eclipsing Binary Stars" by G. Samolyk

03 March Aviso Especial de AAVSO #266: Posible Nova en Carina (TCP J10502000-6406480)

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