(cba:news) stars of the solstice

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Mon Dec 16 16:01:40 EST 1996

Dear CBAers,                                                12/16/96

Well, EG Cnc is continuing to drop fast, about 1 mag/day.  It finally
cleared up in Europe, and we got good runs from Tonny and Lasse.  This
coupled with continued good stuff from Dave W and Bob is documenting
the superhump evolution through the drop pretty well (excellent staying
power!)  I know the star is tough to do now, around mag 16-16.4, but
give it a good try, as the supply is bound to dwindle now and the
opportunities don't come often!  As most of you know, these stars
frequently hit a minimum and then bounce back up, so keep watching
after you think the outburst is over. 

John Thorstensen and Cindy Taylor have promised (well that wasn't the
exact word but I take poetic license) to obtain spectroscopy now, so
we can find out what the damn orbital period really is.  Hold those
Xmas cards for these folks until we see if they deliver!

PX And continues to delight.  Two lovely superhumps, hanging in there
with great endurance.  Northerners should be able to go for another
month.  We have the field pretty well calibrated and can easily handle
unfiltered time series, especially if you help us by using "comp 1",
the V=13.63 star about 3.5 arcmin north of Mister PX.

Once EG Cnc vanishes, the choice northern stars are the dwarf novae DI
UMa and RZ LMi, which we'd like to cover all the time, not just during 
eruptions.  Faint suckers though.  Time to start DW UMa too, a star which
I promise will enchant you quite thoroughly!
For southerners, Men 1 = H0551-819 and RR Pic (especially the former) 
are our season-long program stars.  However, V803 Cen is now at 12th
magnitude and vigorously superhumping.  This star will be our #1 priority
(southern) in early April when we have scheduled simultaneous time in
Chile and South Africa.  We very much want to follow its adventures conti-
nuously from now until June or so.  Time-series photometry is always best,
but even snapshot observations will be useful.


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