It has come to my attention that in May there will be the 2023 Gravitational Wave Open Data Workshop. This would be an excellent opportunity for those interested in learning about gravitational waves and could possibly produce ideas for new projects or opportunities for AAVSO members. It is a free event that goes from May 15-May 17, 2023. This includes lectures, classes, tutorials, and study groups. The website is https://www.gw-openscience.org/odw/odw2023/. This is sponsored by the LIGO, Virgo and KAGRA (LVK) collaboration.
High Energy Network (HEN)
One of the holy grails of "multimessenger astronomy" is the observation of a merger of two neutron stars resulting in a "kilonova" event. The event is observable in visible light, but to be sure it was really a merger of two neutron stars, you need to detect the gravitational waves generated during the merger. So this is a ideal use case for pro-am collaborations like the KILONOVA-CATCHERS discussed also in this forum: once the professional gravitational wave detectors issue public alarms about an event, amateurs can use their optical telescope to search for the optical counterpart.
Blazar 4C +31.03 (B2 0110+31) is having an unprecedented outburst.
Sebastian is in the process of putting this blazar into VSX and Elizabeth is developing a general Alert Notice. The J2000 coordinates are RA +01:12:50.34, Dec +32:08:17.4. Any UBVRI observations will be helpful. This object is rapidly brightening and may likewise fade quickly, so observations should be made within the next fer weeks. Thanks.
AT2019wey, which is a black hole X-ray binary, located at: 04:35:23.280 +55:22:34.25,
is currently in outburst in the X-rays. It was originally reported as an optical transient, and should reach about 17th magnitude at peak brightness in red bands, and about 18th magnitude in bluer bands.
As can be seen in recent AAVSO data, the classic blazar BL Lac has become active again. As recently as Sep 25 it was down at V ~14.2, but is now bouncing around V ~12.5. Two recent ATels report activity in the visible and at gamma-rays:
This activity is not unusual, but a potential precursor to an outburst.
I wonder whether someone here managed to observe the afterglow of GRB 221009A, which apparently had a really bright optical signal.
A preprint posted to astro-ph on Monday describes the upcoming flare event for the much-observed blazar OJ 287. This is predicted for 2022 October, so folks interested should watch for this in the pre-dawn sky. Details here:
SNEWS (SuperNova Early Warning System) is exactly what its name implies: it is a system that can give us an early warning about a certain type of supernova happening in our own galaxy (and neighborhood) when a massive star ends its life and collapses into a neutron star or even a black hole. When it happens, neutrino detectors will detect the signature of the collapse even before we can see the event in optical spectrum because the collapse will take some time to propagate to the layers of the star that are transparent to optical wavelengths.
GCN, the network that brodcasts real-time information on newly identified Gamma Ray Bursts and other transients, is planning massive changes to it's technology.
Here is a presentation on it: