THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF VARIABLE STAR OBSERVERS
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AAVSO ALERT NOTICE 294 (March 5, 2002)
0538-71 NOVA IN THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD 2002
We have been informed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (IAU Circular 7841) that W. Liller, Vina del Mar, Chile, photographically discovered an apparent nova in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) at magnitude 10.5 on two images taken on March 3.1 UT, using a 0.2-m Schmidt camera, Tech Pan film, and no filter.
Using the CCD at the Schmidt's Newtonian focus on March 4.066 UT, Liller measured the following position for the object:
R.A. = 05h 36m 46.64s Decl. = -71o 35' 34.4" (2000)
Spectra obtained by Liller using a low-dispersion objective-prism CCD spectrogram on March 4.09 UT showed the object to have H-alpha emission. H-beta emission was also present.
Liller's photographic magnitudes (IAU Circular 7841) include: February 21.063 UT, <15.0; 27.064, 12.5: (through clouds and a full moon); March 3.066 UT, 10.5; and CCD(V) magnitude 10.98 on March 4.066.
Additional observations reported to the AAVSO include: March 4.9199 UT, 10.8 CCD, L. Monard, Pretoria, South Africa; 5.5380, 11.1, A. Pearce, Nedlands, Australia.
A CCD image of the field containing the nova taken by P. Nelson on March 3.4792 UT can be seen on the AAVSO web site (http://www.aavso.org ).
Accompanying is an AAVSO d scale chart of N LMC 02 prepared by M. Simonsen. Please use this chart to observe the nova, and report your observations of 0538-71 N LMC 02 to AAVSO Headquarters, making sure to indicate which comparison stars you used. Please note that a d reversed chart is also available from the AAVSO web site or on request.
Congratulations to Bill on his latest discovery!
0507-15 SUPERNOVA 2002bj IN NGC 1821 (LEPUS)
As mentioned in AAVSO News Flash #924, we have been informed by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (IAU Circular 7839) that T. Puckett, Mountain Town, GA, with J. Newton, Chiefland, FL, and M. Papenkova and W. D. Li, University of California at Berkeley, independently discovered a supernova in NGC 1821 (Lepus). Puckett's discovery was made with unfiltered CCD images taken February 28.06 UT (at magnitude 14.8) and March 1.05 UT using the Puckett Observatory 0.60-m automated patrol telescope. Papenkova and Li's discovery was made at CCD magnitude 14.7 on unfiltered images taken February 28.2 UT and March 1.2 UT using the 0.8-m Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope (KAIT).
Puckett reported that nothing was visible at the location of the object down to magnitude 20.3 and 21.0 on Palomar Sky Survey images taken on 1983 November 6 and 1990 November 25, respectively. Li reported that the object was not present at this location down to magnitude 18.0 on a KAIT image taken on 2002 February 21.2.
Puckett measured SN 2002bj, located 4.5" east and 5.8" south of the center of NCG 1821, at the coordinates:
R.A. = 05h 11m 46.41s Decl. = -15o 08' 10.8" (2000)
Accompanying is an AAVSO f scale chart of NGC 1821, showing the location of SN 2002bj and prepared by M. Simonsen. Please use this chart to observe the supernova, and report your observations of 0507-15 SN 2002BJ to AAVSO Headquarters, being sure to indicate which comparison stars you used. Please note that an f reversed chart is also available from the AAVSO web site or on request.
Congratulations to T. Puckett, and to M. Papenkova and W. D. Li on their discoveries!
0324+43 GK PERSEI IN OUTBURST - REQUEST TO MONITOR
As reported in AAVSO News Flash #924, GK Per, the 1901 nova classified as a magnetic cataclysmic variable of intermediate polar subclass, is currently in outburst. As mentioned in AAVSO News Flash #890 and AAVSO Alert Notice 293 , we are collaborating with astronomers at the Livermore National Laboratory in California and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center who are preparing for Target of Opportunity Observations (TOO) to be made with the Chandra, RXTE, and XMM X-ray satellites of GK Per during the rise, maximum, and decline of this outburst.
The last outburst of GK Per began in late February 1999. The star reached a maximum mean magnitude of 10.5 about 1 month later. GK Per has a quasi-periodic outburst interval ranging from 900 to 1300 days.
Please continue to keep a very close eye on this variable. Good coverage throughout the outburst is extremely important for the triggering of the satellite observations and for correlation with the satellite data. Existing spectroscopic X-ray satellite observations made during an earlier outburst with ASCA on the rise to outburst and during quiescence of GK Per show dramatic differences, raising many questions yet to be answered. New high-resolution spectroscopic observations from satellites such as Chandra are necessary to help find the solutions to these interesting problems.
Current observations reported to the AAVSO include: March 1.0471 UT, 13.3, S. Tracy, North Granby, CT; 1.0625, 12.9, E. Van Ballegoij, Oranjestad, Aruba; 1.0625, 12.9, Van Ballegoij; 1.2631, 12.8, M. Linnolt, San Francisco, CA; 1.8193, 12.7, J. Virtanen, Ylivieska, Finland; 1.8193, 12.7, C. Otten, Kinrooi, Belgium; 1.8451, 13.0, C. Jones, Laindon, Essex, England; 1.9700, 12.9, G. Poyner, West Midlands, England; 2.0, 13.0, G. Chaple Jr., Townsend, MA; 2.0263, 12.5, Van Ballegoij; 2.1069, 12.7, M. Komorous, London, Ontario, Canada; 2.1208, 12.5, R. Stine, Northridge, CA; 2.1974, 12.4, Stine; 2.2568, 12.7, Linnolt; 2.7916, 12.5, H. Hautecler, Boutersem, Belgium; 2.7965, 12.5, Hautecler; 2.7985, 12.6, Otten; 2.7999, 12.7, M. Reszelski, Szamotuly, Poland; 2.8132, 12.4, F. Van Loo, Genk, Belgium; 2.8180, 12.4, A. Diepvens, Olmen, Belgium; 3.0139, 12.4, Van Ballegoij; 3.2187, 12.7, T. Burrows, Novato, CA; 3.25, 12.6, Linnolt; 3.7847, 12.2, Hautecler; 3.7880, 12.2, J. Speil, Piastow, Walbrzych, Poland; 3.7916, 12.2, Virtanen; 3.8226, 12.13 CCD, R. Diethelm, Rodersdorf, Switzerland; 3.8417, 12.5, W. Kriebel, Osterwaal, Germany; 4.0180, 12.2, Van Ballegoij; 4.2075, 12.4, Burrows; 4.2104, 12.2, Stine; 4.2714, 12.0, Linnolt; 4.7818, 12.2, Hautecler; 4.8437, 11.9, Otten; 4.8451, 12.0, Virtanen; 5.0729, 12.0, W. Hampton, Simsbury, CT; 5.1625, 12.1, Stine.
Accompanying is an AAVSO d scale chart of GK Per (e and f scales are available on the AAVSO ftp and web sites, see below). Please use this chart to observe the GK Per, and report your observations of 0324+43 GK PER to AAVSO Headquarters, being sure to indicate which comparison stars you used. Please note that a d reversed chart is also available from the AAVSO website or on request. (Reversed e and f scales are also available.)
We thank all observers who have been monitoring GK Per closely and sending their observations to the AAVSO!
For more information about GK Per, see the AAVSO web site for the November 2000 Variable Star of the Month (http://www.aavso.org/vstar/vsotm/1100.stm ).
Chart links are obsolete; using VSP at http://www.aavso.org/vsp 
Electronic copies of the N LMC 02, SN 2002bj, GK Per charts mentioned in this Alert Notice are available through our web site at the following address:
The charts may also be obtained directly from our FTP site:
We encourage observers to submit observations via our website (online data submission tool WebObs), or by email in AAVSO format to firstname.lastname@example.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.
Janet A. Mattei
Kerriann H. Malatesta
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