(cba:news) stars of june

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Fri Jun 6 20:51:18 EDT 1997

Dear CBAers,                                              June 6, 1997.

I'm about to leave on a 16-day trip with only an occasional pot-shot at
e-mail here and there.  So I'm sorry if I get kinda quiet for a while.
More seriously, quite a few CBAers will be away from their nocturnal
posts during June 8-12, more or less the dates of the AAS meeting in
North Carolina.  Just what happened in northern France in June 1944.
Only worse in our case, since at least the invasion hadn't yet happened
when all those German generals went on holiday.  In our case the
invader of the night sky is well known to us, the outburst is evolving,
and here we are going off to sip wine and curry favor with mere
outlanders!  Shocking.

I assume everybody got the newsletter by now.  We (mostly Jonathan)
have also cooked up a fancy brochure, which is basically a small
version of our AAS poster - but which also explains what we do to a
(borderline) nontechnical audience.  It should be somewhat useful
for recruiting, and will also maybe help explain what you're doing
to your spouse.  We're pumping them out fast and will send a dozen or
more to all members requesting them.

V844 Her (= "Var43 Her") was humping away vigorously with an 80 minute
period until June 4.  Now it seems to have dived down to 17th mag, and
the humps are very hard to spot (though still present).  Might come
back up, a la EG Cancri in December 1996.  It's a target of great
importance for much that we hold sacred.  Please track it as far as you
possibly can on the decline branch - and then beyond, since we want to
be vigilant for echo outbursts.  I'm sorry that there's no easily
available finder chart.  You could possibly get something from the
various CBAers who have been tracking it (Harvey, Skillman, Vanmunster,
Jensen, Fried, and now Stull).  Or you could study these directions:

2000 position is 16 25 01.7  +39 09 26. The vicinity looks like this:


Usual orientation (north up, west to the right).  V is the variable,
and the A->C distance is about 60 arcsec.  A is about mag 14-15, B and
C about 16.  The next closest star brighter than mag 19 is a 15 mag
star 2 arcmin north of the variable.  Also, there's a galaxy 5 arcmin
WSW from the variable.  Not a difficult field at all.  Most people have
been using a bright comp (mag 12.3) 3 arcmin NW of the variable
(slightly off this scale).  You might want to change that now that it
has dived faint.  Oh, and there's  a very bright star, probable SAO, 5
arcmin NE from the variable.

In practice, I realize that most of you would rather work on something
brighter.  So after checking V844 Her, just truck on over to AM CVn or
EC1533-14 (now christened HP Lib) and get a pulse timing.  These
campaigns have suffered from all the excitement in Hercules.

Then there's V603 Aql - bright time in June is definitely a good time
to get rolling on Mister V603.

For southerners, you know the tune - still V803 Cen, as long as you
can, with EC1533 and V603 Aql for the rest of the night.

We'll send *everyone* one brochure, and we'll send more for anyone who
wants 'em.  Fan mail to Jonathan, as usual.


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