(cba:news) Ohhhhh!... there's another one

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Mon Nov 17 07:48:28 EST 1997

Dear CBAers,                                          Nov. 17, 1997.

Just finished a really nice night's observing in the Big Apple, with a
fine display of Leonid meteors flashing overhead.  It wasn't the big
storm we hoped for, but a few dozen meteors in New York City with a
full moon ain't bad.  I probably haven't seen that many total meteors
in the last 14 years of casual observing here.  Not often that we can
show meteor showers to our students here!

Did the storm occur for observers at other longitudes?

There was much sympathy among you for FO Aqr, the freefalling star I
fretted about in my last note.  Dave South (as opposed to East and
West, well-known top guns of our enterprise) and Cap'n Bob sent data,
and others indicate they're about to do so.  But I extracted timings
and saw that while FO Aqr is indeed plummeting rapidly in the O-C, the
long-term ephemeris is actually under good control.  The recent points
are basically like beads on a wire, the way we like 'em.  Mmmm.  We'll
get the O-C on the Web in a day or two.  We need a southerner to get
timings next May, but can close the books for this year.  FO's friend,
AO Psc, is actually a much greater need right now.  The specs are
practically the same: V=13.6, 14 minute variation of ~0.08 mag, 2-hour
time series usually sufficient for a timing (3 hr better though).  AO
is in a *really* bare patch of sky though, the comp-hunting is very
poor.  See if you can get it!

The wires have fallen silent on V592 Cas.  Try hard for it, it's a
bodaciously bright barn-burnin' superhumpin' star, with a light curve
deserving to hang on your mantle.  Jonathan's great finding chart on the

Our Balcony man, Seiichiro Kiyota, asked about CN Ori.  Two interests
here.  The star shows superhumps during outburst (all of 'em), and we'd
like to compare the phases among various outbursts.  Good for small
telescopes, including any perched on balconies.  The other interest is
quiescence (about 16th mag).  Nice large humps there, and we'd like to
time a few this year to establish a long-term ephemeris.  Need to be
patient for both, because the periods are near 4.0 hr.

And I'm still hoping for TT Ari.  We still don't know for sure if
the superhump is back.  Need an advance scout, then we'll call out the
dogs if warranted.

The really good stars for snapshots are: DI UMa (el supremo), RZ LMi,
EG Cnc.  Actually, as long as I'm making this list, all the WZ Sge
stars should get on it too: HV Vir, AL Com, UZ Boo, RZ Leo (the real
Leo).  Practically nothing is known about short, faint outbursts of
these stars.  Naturally there is a conventional wisdom, that they
don't occur.  But it's based on very little data, and that's something
we should remedy.

Sergei Shugarov and Elena Pavlenko have recently joined our group, our
first Russians.  I've been reading their papers for years.  This is
a major, major plus.  They know CVs, know photometry, and occupy a nice
place on the planet.  We even managed, by hook and by crook (mostly
crook), to get a CCD camera to them without it disappearing in customs.
That augurs well.

AH Men = H0551-819 = Men 1 = Tafelberg forever!  No reports yet during
this season, but a guy can hope can't he?  Paddy McGee and Dave
South sent some great data from last December.  Who will be the hero
this year?


By the way, eventually we want to create an archive where you can fetch
all the CBA data on a star.  That's still pretty far off I think, but
I'll be happy to send it to you in bite-size chunks on your request.
Usually I could furnish all data on some particular star.  Please ask!

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