(cba:news) stars for october

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Sun Oct 3 12:43:36 EDT 1999

Hey there CBAers,

Sorry for my very long (but predicted) absence.  I'm now ensconced out at
Biosphere 2, running the Universe Semester program.  On the plus side,
it's wonderful to be surrounded by so many stars at night, with the Milky
Way arching from horizon to horizon.  It has been a (relatively) wet
summer, so the animal population is in superabundance - many deer and wild
pigs (javelinas) roaming the grounds, along with rabbits, coyotes, and a
solitary cougar.  And billions of grasshoppers this month, some as big as
6 inches long.  What a splendid profusion of wildlife, just what this city
dweller needed.

I'm teaching classes every morning and afternoon, and with practically
every night clear, I'm vastly overextended.  Major flaw in the planning.
Anyway, the main result is that I've been very slow in taking care of all
CBA business, for which I apologize.  This will change soon!  (Now,

Recently Dave West obtained 4 straight nights of photometry of AO Piscium,
revealing to my amazement a new period slightly shorter than Porb.  This
is presumably one of our stocks-in-trade (negative superhumps), but I was
still amazed since it had not been detected before in 20 years of
photometry.  Did the star change, or was our coverage simply better than
anything previous?  I dunno.  Anyway, this is now a very high priority
item: pick up AO from an eastern tree and follow it down into a western
tree.  We should do this star throughout October.  You'll notice that the
field is really sparse - Dave managed to find a comp star 1 mag fainter
than AO, which is good enough (Dave, can you send the coords/offset of
that star to the "news" e-mail exploder, so people can identify it).

AO Psc is right on the equator, nice and friendly for all observers.  We
particularly value non-USA observations since that's where our coverage is
most lacking - but the truth, asusual, is that we need observations from
all sites (even when you think you're overlapping with someone else,
you're probably not - and when you are, it supplies critical calibration

The other two good DQ Her stars for coverage now are V709 Cas (RX0028+593)
and FO Aqr.  I wonder, are we going to find negative superhumps there too,
now that we know how to look for them?

All nice and bright, can hold their own against most invasions by

I'll be here through December 20.  And thrilled to get a visit from any of
you.  I really underestimated how astronomically lonesome I would get out
here!  As some of you know, Gordon Garradd is spending most of the
(northern) fall with us, so there's some CBA presence outside of me and


More information about the cba-public mailing list