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News and Announcements

14 January Almost Twenty-Five Million! ... and Counting

We are approaching a milestone in the AAVSO International Database. Are you counting?

If you take a look at the observation total in the Recent Activity section of the AAVSO homepage, you will see that we will soon reach twenty-five million observations!

13 January AAVSO Newsletter 59 is published

AAVSO Newsletter 59 - January 2014

07 January Program stars in need of observation

The AAVSO maintains several lists of stars for which observations are strongly encouraged.  These are primarily stars for which the AAVSO already has well-covered light curves spanning several decades or longer, and for which we deem there is value in continuing observations indefinitely.

31 December Visual Observing Manual in Spanish - 2013 edition

The Spanish version of the 2013 edition of the Manual for Visual Observing of Variable Stars - Manual para la Observación Visual de Estrellas Variables - is now available for download here:

26 December The Final Adventures of an Administrative Assistant

I have been with the AAVSO for two and a half years as the Administrative Assistant.  And what an adventure it has been!  I've been to three fall meetings, including the Centennial.  I’ve experienced the introduction of CHOICE courses, the Adopt A Variable Star Program (AAVSP), and the move to the online forums.  I’ve worked with our publications, our store, our website, and our social media.  I’ve biked to HQ in pouring rain and slippe

19 December Charts and Sequences Update December 19, 2013

The list below are stars whose sequences have been created or revised since October 8, 2013. If you currently observe any of these stars, please update your charts to the latest version of the sequence.

You can also check the list for all of 2013 and previous years here

19 December Special Notice #379: Supernova 2013hn in IC 4329 = PSN J13485917-3017265

December 19, 2013: IAU CBET 3762 (Daniel W. E. Green, Ed.) announces the discovery of Supernova 2013hn in IC 4329 by Ella Sanders Kot and R. Kot (Truth or Consequences, NM) and D. Coffin (University of Iowa) at unfiltered magnitude 15.2 on 2013 December 13.544 UT using the 0.37-m f/14 Rigel telescope at the Iowa Robotic Observatory near Sonoita, AZ. E. S. Kot adds that a follow-up image taken on December 16.53 shows SN 2013hn at mag 14.8 U (position end figures 59.19s, 26.9").

19 December Alert Notice 494: T Tauri stars observing campaign

December 19, 2013: Darryl Sergison (University of Exeter) has requested AAVSO assistance with a campaign he is carrying out on five T Tauri stars. This study is the one for which AAVSO observers carried out a preliminary campaign last year (see Alert Notice 473 and Special Notice #306). The star list is revised and expanded from last year's list of targets. This campaign will run from now at least through the end of the 2013-2014 observing season.

18 December Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 11

The November 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy:

18 December Special Notice #378: BP Tau Chandra observation times set - time-series observations needed

December 18, 2013: Further to AAVSO Alert Notice 493, Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has been given the precise times of the Chandra X-ray observations to be made of the T Tauri star BP Tau:

year:day:hour:min (in UT):
2013:356:22:52-2013:357:10:00 = 2013 Dec 22 22:52 through Dec 23 10:00 UT

2013:359:14:46-2013:360:06:06 = 2013 Dec 25 14:46 through Dec 26 06:06 UT

18 December Alert Notice 493: Request to monitor BP Tau in support of Chandra X-ray observations

December 18, 2013: Dr. Hans Moritz Guenther (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) has requested nightly observations of the classical T Tauri star BP Tau in support of upcoming Chandra X-ray observations in his study of the accretion processes underway in this star.

16 December JAAVSO vol 41, no 2 is now published

JAAVSO Volume 41, Number 2 is now published

06 December New eJAAVSO preprint: The naked-eye optical transient OT 120926

ej251: "The Naked-eye Optical Transient OT 120926" by Y. Zhao, P. B. Hall, P. Delaney, J. Sandal

06 December Special Notice #377: Reported outburst of the WZ Sge star AL Comae

December 6, 2013: Observer Carlo Gualdoni reports via the cvnet-outburst mailing list that the WZ Sge-type dwarf nova AL Comae is in outburst, with a magnitude of V=12.74 on 2013 December 6.185 (JD 2456633.1185).  Gary Poyner notes on the BAAVSS mailing list that this is the first observed outburst of AL Com since October 2007.  Both visual observations and CCD time series are encouraged.

05 December Admin Assistant Opening at AAVSO HQ

When Lauren Rosenbaum came to work with us as the AAVSO HQ Admin Assistant we knew it would be for a limited number of years while she attended graduate school.  Wow, has the time flown by!!!  In her time with us Lauren has become a crucial member of the AAVSO family.  We will be so very sad to see her go, but she will be leaving us to take the next step in her career.  We all wish her the very best!

This bittersweet news means that we have an opening at AAVSO HQ.  Please pass this job posting along to any local candidates.

03 December Alert Notice 492: Nova Centauri 2013 = PNV J13544700-5909080

December 3, 2013

Event: Nova in Centaurus = Nova Cen 2013 = PNV J13544700-5909080

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

Discovery magnitude: unfiltered magnitude 5.5 using a DSLR with 50-mm lens

Discovery date: 2013 December 02.692 UT

Coordinates: R.A. 13 54 45.34   Decl. -59 09 04.2  (2000.0, K. Hornoch,

02 December Special Notice #376: HST observations of U Gem scheduled for December 6

December 2, 2013: Further to AAVSO Special Notice #318 (M. Templeton) and AAVSO Alert Notice 475 (E. Waagen), Dr. Michael Shara (American Museum of Natural History) informs us that HST/COS observations of the dwarf nova U Gem have been scheduled for 2013 December 6 UT (one day earlier than originally indicated in the December 2 posting to the AAVSO forums). The observations will take place:

02 December Alert Notice 491: V556 Serpentis = Nova Ser 2013 = PNV J18090346-1112345

December 2, 2013

Event: V556 Serpentis = Nova Ser 2013 = PNV J18090346-1112345

Discovered by: Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata, Japan), reported by S. Nakano (Sumoto, Japan)

Discovery magnitude: unfiltered CCD magnitude mag 12.3, using a 0.21-m reflector

Discovery date: 2013 Nov. 24.384 UT

Coordinates: R.A. 18 09 03.46  Decl. -11 12 34.5  (2000.0)

26 November Two new eJAAVSO preprints: Monitoring solar activity trends; Maxima and O–C diagrams for 489 Mira stars

ejaavso 250: "Monitoring Solar Activity Trends With a Simple Sunspotter" by K. Larsen

ejaavso 251: "Maxima and O–C Diagrams for 489 Mira Stars" by T. Karlsson

25 November The Annual Adopt A Variable Star Program

The Annual Adopt a Variable Star Program (AAVSP) is a fundraising program designed to encourage small donations to the AAVSO from a large number of donors each year. The concept is very simple and has been used by other non-profits to raise money for children, animals, and other good causes.

22 November Two new eJAAVSO preprints: UV-B and B optical flare search; 18 new variables in Cas

ejaavso 248: "UV–B and B-band Optical Flare Search in AR Lacertae, II Pegasi, and UX Arietis Star Systems" by G. A. Vander Haagen

ejaavso 249: "Eighteen New Variable Stars in Cassiopeia and Variability Checking for NSV 364" by R. Furgoni

15 November Solar Bulletin - Volume 69, Number 10

The October 2013 Solar Bulletin is now available. Please visit the Solar Bulletin web page to download your copy:

15 November New eJAAVSO preprint: Recent Minima of 199 Eclipsing Binary Stars

ejaavso 247: "Recent Minima of 199 Eclipsing Binary Stars" by G. Samolyk

13 November Special Notice #375: Symbiotic variable AS 270 in outburst

November 13, 2013: The symbiotic star AS 270 is in outburst, according to observations reported to vsnet-alert by Berto Monard (MLF; Calitzdorp, South Africa) and to the AAVSO International Database (AID) by Steve O'Connor (OCN; St. George's, Bermuda). O'Connor reports the star at V=11.72 +/-0.03 on 2013 November 13.405 UT (JD 2456609.905), well above its normal minimum magnitude of 14.2V.

04 November New eJAAVSO preprint: Book Review: The Life and Death of Stars (Lang)

ejaavso 246: "Book Review: The Life and Death of Stars (Lang)" by J. B. Lester

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