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Alert Notice 559: Observations of CI Cam needed to support spectroscopy

October 19, 2016: Kelly Gourdji and Marcella Wijngaarden (graduate students at the University of Amsterdam/Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy) have requested AAVSO observers' assistance in providing optical photometry of CI Cam in support of their high-resolution spectroscopy with the Mercator telescope + Hermes spectrograph in La Palma from now through January 2017.

They write: "...We are currently observing the variable star CI Cam (the B[e] optical counterpart of a HMXB system) with the HERMES spectrograph at the Mercator Telescope in La Palma. Having observed the star for three nights now, the object appears to be in outburst. In particular, H alpha was measured to be 80 times the continuum flux, and increasing between Oct. 9 and 12. This is similar to the previous outburst in 2004/5. Photometric data obtained during the 2004/5 outburst suggested an outburst duration of about 3 months and a peak brightness of 11.2 in the V band." More information is available in ATel #9634 (Wijngaarden et al.).

Multiple snapshot observations per night in BVRI are requested beginning immediately and continuing through January 2017. Time series are not necessary unless requested later via an AAVSO Special Notice. Observations made using other filters will be useful as well as long as there are multiple observations in these bands. Unfiltered observations are also useful but preferably only when they are available for multiple nights (in order to cross-match with other observations). CI Cam has a V range of 9.5-11.9.

Coordinates (2000.0): R.A. 04 19 42.14   Dec. +55 59 57.7

Charts with a comparison star sequence for CI Cam may be created using the AAVSO Variable Star Plotter (VSP).

Please submit observations to the AAVSO International Database using the name CI CAM.

This campaign is being followed on the AAVSO Observing Campaigns webpage. A thread has been created on the Campaigns and Observation Reports forum at (

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


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