Alert Notice 591: GW Lib observations requested in support of K2 and HST observations

August 7, 2017: Dr. Boris Gaensicke (Warwick University) has requested our help in monitoring the pulsating white dwarf-containing cataclysmic variable GW Lib in preparation for and support of K2 (Kepler's Second Light) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations scheduled for August to November 2017 and August and September 2017, respectively.

K2 will be observing GW Lib non-stop 2017 Aug 23 20:00:00 to 2017 Nov 19 23:00:00 UTC.

HST will be observing GW Lib three times in August and September, likely on August 31, September 5, and September 10. When the exact HST times are known, observers will be updated.

GW Lib has been the target of numerous campaigns by Dr. Gaensicke, Dr. Paula Szkody, and other researchers (see AAVSO Alert Notices 513, 433, and 417 for examples).

For the HST observations, AAVSO observations are essential to know the state of the system in order to ensure that the object is NOT in outburst when observed with HST. AAVSO observations made 24-30 hours before each HST observing time will be used to make a go/no-go decision, and will also be used in the analysis of the resulting data. For the K2 observations, AAVSO observations are needed in analyzing the satellite data.

Dr. Gaensicke requests nightly monitoring of this object beginning now, intensive monitoring August 28-September 1, September 3-6, and September 8-11, and then nightly observations again through 2017 September 17. The windows of intensive observations may change slightly when the exact HST times are known.

Coordinates:   RA: 15 19 55.45   Dec: -25 00 25.30   (J2000.0)

This target is increasingly challenging at this time of year, and your efforts are truly appreciated and are crucial to the HST observations.

GW Lib is faint at quiescence, magnitude ~16.8 visual/unfiltered. If visual observers are unable to detect GW Lib, please report any "fainter-than" estimates using the magnitude of the faintest comparison star magnitude seen. CCD observers are asked to use filters during observations if available; V filter is preferred, but B, Rc, and Ic may also be used. Detection of the variable itself is not required unless you can reach V=16.8 in reasonable time, but please use sufficient exposure to detect at least the V=143 comparison star (RA 15:19:39.54 Dec. -25:00:31.8) or V=147 (RA 15:20:01.73 Dec. -24:58:37.7) with a S/N of 10 and report the observation as a "fainter-than" observation. GW Lib may be as bright as V=8.2 in outburst.

It is very important that a V or visual positive observation (that is, not a fainter-than) is obtained 24-30 hours before each scheduled HST time, if at all possible.

Beginning now, please observe this object as often as possible according to the schedule and using the observing procedure outlined above, and submit data as soon as possible to the AAVSO International Database using the name GW LIB. During the nights of intensive observations as indicated above, prompt submission of your observations will be critical. In the event of an outburst, please contact the AAVSO immediately.

Charts with a comparison star sequence for GW Lib may be plotted using the AAVSO Variable Star Plotter (VSP).

This observing campaign is being followed on the AAVSO Campaigns and Observing Reports online forum at

Thank you for your observing efforts and valuable observations!

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


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