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Alert Notice 293

             THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VARIABLE STAR OBSERVERS
                   25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
                          INTERNET:  aavso@aavso.org
                   Tel. 617-354-0484       Fax 617-354-0665

                   AAVSO ALERT NOTICE 293 (January 28, 2002)

1731-16 NOVA OPHIUCHI 2002

We have been informed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (IAU
Circular 7808) that Katsumi Haseda, Aichi, Japan, and Yuji Nakamura, Suzuka,
Mie, Japan, independently discovered a nova in Ophiuchus.  Haseda's discovery
was made at photographic magnitude 9.0 on an exposure taken January 24.838 UT
using a 0.10-m f/4 twin patrol camera + T-Max 400 film.  Nakamura's discovery,
reported by M. Soma, National Astronomical Observatory, Tokyo, was made at
photographic magnitude 9.3 on an exposure taken January 24.867 UT using a
200-mm f/4 lens + Tri-X film.

Doug West, Mulvane, KS, measured the nova at V magnitude 9.19 on a CCD image
taken by him on January 26.5271 UT using his 0.2-SCT telescope (+ SBIG ST-8
CCD + transmission grating), and at the coordinates:

    R.A. = 17h 37m 34.60s     Decl. = -16 degrees 23' 23.2"     (2000.0)

West's image may be seen on the AAVSO web site page dedicated to this object
(http://www.aavso.org/noph02.stm).

Haseda reported that nothing was visible at the location of the object down to
magnitude 12.5-13.1 on patrol photographs taken 1997 August 23 - 2001 October
11 (IAU Circular 7808). West reported that the new object was not visible on
the DSS.

Spectroscopy by A. Retter and S. O'Toole, University of Sydney, R. Stathakis
and J. Pogson, Anglo-Australian Observatory, and T. Naylor, Exeter University,
on January 26.77 UT using the Anglo-Australian Telescope (+ RGO) indicate that
the object is "very likely a classical nova that belongs to the Fe II class,
caught in the early decline phase" (IAU Circular 7809).  Spectra obtained by
West on January 26.527 UT show H-alpha emission.

Pre-discovery observations reported via IAU Circular 7809 include: January
19.854 UT, 8.9 photographic, T. Seki, Kochi, Japan, communicated by H. Sato,
Sukagawa, Japan, and T. Kato, Kyoto University; 21.854, 8.5 T-Max 400 film,
H. Nishimura, Kakegawa, Shizuoka, Japan, communicated by Y. Muraoka, Hamamatsu,
Japan, and Kato; 24.843, 9.0, Nishimura.

Additional observations reported to the AAVSO include:  January 26.5306 UT,
8.67 CCD R_c, D. West, Mulvane, KS; 26.857, 9.1, A. Pearce, Nedlands, W.
Australia; 27.333, 9.2, J. Garcia, Rama Caida, Argentina; 27.3715, 9.03 CCD
with R- and IR-blocking filters, W. Liller, Vina del Mar, Chile; 27.6583, 8.9,
M. Linnolt, Honolulu, HI; 27.833, 9.0, Pearce.

Accompanying is an AAVSO 'c' scale chart of N Oph 02 prepared by Aaron Price,
AAVSO Headquarters, with sequence prepared by Mike Simonsen using Tycho-2
magnitudes.  Please use this chart to observe the nova, and report your
observations of 1731-16 N OPH 02 to AAVSO Headquarters, making sure to
indicate which comparison stars you used. Please note that a 'c' scale
reversed chart is also available from the AAVSO website or on request.

Congratulations to Katsumi Haseda and Yuji Nakamura on their discoveries!

1424+00  SUPERNOVA 2002ao IN UGC 9299 (VIRGO)

We have been informed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (IAU
Circular 7809) that P. Martin and W. D. Li, University of California at
Berkeley, reported the discovery of an apparent supernova by LOTOSS (the joint
Lick Observatory and Tenagra Observatory Supernova Searches) at CCD magnitude
about 14.3 on an unfiltered CCD image taken on January 25.5 UT with the 0.8-m
Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT).

The supernova was confirmed by Y. L. Qiu, Beijing Astronomical Observatory
(BAO), at magnitude 14.7 on an image taken on January 26.9 UT with the BAO
0.6-m telescope.

Nothing appears at the location of the object on KAIT images taken 2001 June
28.3 UT down to CCD magnitude about 19.0, or on BAO images taken 2002 January
4.9 UT down to about magnitude 17.8.

SN 2002ao is located about 16" east and 10" north of the diffuse nucleus of
UGC 9299, at the following coordinates:

        R.A. = 14h 29m 35.74s     Decl. = -00 degrees 00' 55.8"   (2000.0)

Doug West, Mulvane, KS, obtained CCD images with his 0.2-m reflector (+ SBIG
ST-8 CCD) that showed the supernova at R_c magnitude 14.83 on Jan. 27.492 UT
and V magnitude 14.96 on Jan. 27.507 UT.  West's image may be seen on the
AAVSO web site page dedicated to this object
(http://www.aavso.org/sn2002ao.stm).

Accompanying is an AAVSO 'f' scale provisional chart of UGC 9299, showing the
location of SN 2002ao and prepared by Mike Simonsen, Macomb, MI, and Aaron
Price, AAVSO Headquarters, with sequence prepared by Simonsen using Tycho-2
and USNO-A2.0 (V) magnitudes.  Please use this chart to observe the supernova,
and report your observations of 1424+00 SN 2002AO to AAVSO Headquarters, being
sure to indicate which comparison stars you used. Please note that an 'f' scale
reversed chart is also available from the AAVSO website or on request.

Congratulations to the LOTOSS team on the discovery of this bright supernova!

0324+43  GK PERSEI - REMINDER TO MONITOR FOR OBSERVING CAMPAIGN

As mentioned in AAVSO News Flash 890, observers are reminded to keep a close
eye on GK Per, the 1901 nova classified as a magnetic cataclysmic variable of
intermediate polar subclass.  Astronomers at Livermore National Laboratory in
California and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center are preparing for Target of
Opportunity Observations (TOO), with the Chandra and XMM X-ray satellites, of
GK Per during its next outburst.

GK Per has a quasi-periodic outburst interval ranging from 900 to 1300 days.
The most recent outburst of GK Per began in late February 1999. The star
reached a maximum mean magnitude of 10.5 about 1 month later.  Based on the
interval between the most recent 2 outbursts (approximately 1,100 days) we
expect the next outburst to occur in the next several months. GK Per was
featured on the AAVSO web site as the Variable Star of the Month in November
2000 (http://www.aavso.org/vstar/vsotm/1100.stm).

Please keep a very close eye on GK Per and inform us when it starts to
brighten - magnitude 12.5 or brighter.  Immediate notification of the star's
brightening and good coverage throughout the next outburst are extremely
important for the triggering of the satellite observations and for correlation
with the satellite data.

CHARTS AVAILABLE ON AAVSO WEB AND FTP SITES

Electronic copies of the chart for N Oph 02, SN 2002ao, and GK Per mentioned
in this Alert Notice are available through our web site at the following
address:
                        http://www.aavso.org

The chart may also be obtained directly from our FTP site:

                 ftp.aavso.org/alerts/alert293

We encourage observers to submit observations via our website (online data
submission tool WebObs), or by email in AAVSO format to
observations@aavso.org.  If you do not have AAVSO Observer Initials, please
contact Headquarters so we may assign them to you.  The answering machine at
AAVSO Headquarters is on nights and weekends; use our charge-free number
(888-802-STAR = 888-802-7827) to report your observations, or report them via
fax (617-354-0665).

Many thanks for your valuable astronomical contributions and your efforts.

Good observing!

Janet A. Mattei
Director

Elizabeth O. Waagen
Senior Technical Assistant

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