October 7, 2006: Akira Imada reports in a post to the VS-Net Alert Discussion Group that H. Maehara has observed VY Aqr in outburst (V=12.46 on Oct. 07.56330). AAVSO observers are asked to observe this field both visually and with a CCD and report their observations as soon as possible. The latest reported AAVSO observation is <13.8 visual on Oct. 04.8201 by Eddy Muyllaert (MUY).
Charts are available here: http://www.aavso.org/cgi-bin/searchcharts3.pl?name=vy%20aqr [2014 chart link http://www.aavso.org/vsp]
The last major outburst peaked at visual=10.0 on April 25, 1993. A smaller, subsequent outburst was observed by two observers about a year later. That outburst lasted <2 days and peaked at visual=11.3 on April 23, 1994. Since then there have been no detected outbursts reported to the AAVSO.
If the outburst is confirmed, CCD time series photometry (preferably in V since this system is bright) is recommended. Observe as long as possible and set your exposure time to achieve SNR>=100. There are reports in the literature of peculiar superhump behavior in this system and it would be nice to get good, long term coverage of an outburst.
This Special Notice was prepared by: A. Price