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                    25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
                    Tel. 617-354-0484       FAX 617-354-0665

                   AAVSO ALERT NOTICE 254 (February 22, 1999)


The old nova GK Per (Nova Per 1901) has gone into a minor outburst for the
first time since 1996 (see AAVSO Alert Notice 219), as indicated by the
following observations reported to the AAVSO:

Feb 15.0639 UT, 13.0, M. Komorous, London, Ontario, Canada; 15.1299, 13.0,
J. McKenna, Annandale, NJ; 15.167, 13.1, R. Modic, Richmond Heights, OH;
16.869, 13.0, P. Schmeer, Bischmisheim, Germany; 16.869, 13.0, Schmeer; 16.927,
13.1, G. Poyner, Birmingham, England; 17.0424, 12.9, J. Bortle, Stormville, NY;
20.788, 12.5, E. Muyllaert, Oostende, Belgium; 20.956, 12.7, H. McGee, West
Clandon, Surrey, England; 21.0028, 12.5, Komorous; 21.0319, 12.4, Bortle;
21.2215, 12.4, G. Hanson, Cave Creek, AZ; 21.4833, 13.1, S. Sakuma, Kawasaki,
Japan; 21.843, 12.3, J. Ripero Osorio, Madrid, Spain; 22.053, 11.9, S. O'Connor,
Montreal, Quebec, Canada; 22.0569, 12.2, Komorous; 22.0726, 12.5, R. Berg,
Crown Point, IN; 22.208, 12.1, O'Connor; 22.4201, 11.8, Sakuma.

The last outburst of GK Per started on February 24, 1996; GK Per was bright for
approximately 80 days, reaching a mean maximum magnitude of 10.4 and fading
back to minimum by about May 15, 1996.  The previous outburst of GK Per (see
AAVSO Alert Notice 159) occurred on July 3, 1992; the star was bright for about
80 days, reached a mean maximum visual magnitude of 10.3, and returned to
minimum by September 21, 1992.

The accompanying light curve of observations in the AAVSO International
Database shows the behavior of GK Per from JD 2448600 to 2451300 (December
1991 - February 1999).

Please monitor GK Per using the accompanying AAVSO "e" and "f" standard charts,
and report your observations to AAVSO Headquarters.  These charts may also be
retrieved from our ftp site and web site (see below).


Astronomers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have requested our
assistance in monitoring the AM Herculis-type magnetic variable AN Ursae
Majoris throughout the coming year.  Astronomers plan to observe AN UMa as a
target-of-opportunity (TOO) with the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE)
satellite when the system is in its bright state (that is, visual magnitude
approximately 16.0 or brighter).  In order for these TOO observations to be
possible, however, it is essential that observers notify AAVSO Headquarters
very promptly of any brightening so we may inform the astronomers equally

Please monitor AN UMa throughout this year, particularly from now until the end
of April and from the beginning of November through the end of the year.
Report all positive observations to AAVSO Headquarters on a nightly basis.
Please do not try to observe this star if your telescope will not reach visual
magnitude 14 and fainter - doing so would be an inefficient use of your time
since AN UMa almost certainly is never brighter than visual magnitude 14.

Accompanying are "d" and "e" scale AAVSO standard charts.  Please use these
charts to observe AN UMa.  These charts may also be retrieved from our ftp
site and web site (see below).


Astronomers at Ondrejov Observatory in the Czech Republic have requested our
assistance in longterm monitoring of the variable star QR Andromedae.  This
variable star has been reported as a soft x-ray source, but the type of
variability of the star is not known.  QR And, which has a brightness range of
photographic magnitude 11.5 - 13.0, has exhibited optical variations on scales
ranging from weeks to months to years.

No systematic longterm visual monitoring - that is, over many years - of QR
And has ever been done, and longterm observations are needed in order to
understand the nature of this star.  Continuity of observations from year to
year will be especially valuable in distinguishing real fluctuations of the
star from observer-to-observer differences.

If your equipment, location, observing conditions, and interest allow, please
add 0014+21 QR And to your observing program and observe it regularly (every
clear night), reporting your observations to four decimal places of the JD as
part of your AAVSO monthly reports.

Accompanying is a set of charts for QR And supplied by the Czech Astronomical
Society and created by them using magnitudes from the Hipparcos and Tycho
Catalogues and the Guide Star Catalog.  Please use these charts and the
comparison star sequence on them to observe QR And.


Electronic copies of the AAVSO charts of GK Per, AN UMa, and QR And mentioned
in this Alert Notice are available through our web site at the following


All of these charts may also be obtained directly from our FTP site:

   (, in /alerts/alert254)

The answering machine at AAVSO Headquarters is on nights and weekends for your
convenience. Please call our charge-free number (888-802-STAR = 888-802-7827)
to report your observations. We also encourage observers to send observations
by fax to 617-354-0665 or by e-mail through the Internet to

Many thanks for your valuable astronomical contributions and your efforts.

Good observing!

Janet A. Mattei

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 617-354-0484