(cba:news) stars of november

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Fri Oct 29 10:11:47 EDT 1999

Dear CBAers,

     Well the endless clear and sunny weather in southern Arizona
continues unabated.  Sounds wonderful I'm sure, but we haven't managed to
get *any* photometry out of it here at Bio2, and don't expect to as long
as our students are here.  This may seem totally weird - I can't claim to
understand it, but I suppose it just reflects the fact that love for
research is actually a very odd quality, not at all with mass appeal
(though the idea of it is very popular).  So education trumps research
here.  With *much* preparation in future years, I think this can be
changed, though.

     We have a very fine campaign going on IP Peg, starting from the
recent outburst.  This is a grazing eclipser, in which one can readily
study the structure of the bright spot as it gets eclipsed (since the
central disk is not eclipsed, or not much anyway).  Let's track it down
all the way to the new year.  Dave East, Cap'n Bob, Lasse, and Tonny
(welcome back Tonny!) have been tracking it.  And a few days ago, U Gem
erupted - the other grazing eclipser up there.  Same deal for Mister U
Gem. But U Gem will be with us in the sky all the way to May.  So in
principle we can watch the structure of the bright spot change all the way
from the present eruption to quiescence to the next eruption 100 d later,
then all the way to the next one.  U Gem is, after all, royalty - deserves
this kind of treatment.  U Gem's great brightness, though a scourge to
some of us, is also a good way to reach out to our brethren of modest

     I continue *enormously* interested in pulse timings of DQ Her stars:
FO Aqr, V405 Aur = RX0558+5353, BG CMi, RX0757+63, and AO Psc (the
campaign on AO Psc is over but scattered pulse timings are still good).

     Let's keep up the campaign on RX0028+593 = V709 Cas.  This has quite
a weak pulse - a good target for those with bigger scopes.  Requires
long nightly runs, and preferably a bunch in a row.  The aforementioned
dwarf novae (IP Peg and U Gem) can be hit more infrequently, except when
they are actually erupting.

     Two CBA papers in the present issue of PASP, by the way.  You might
want to check your neighborhood newsstand.  Jonathan, could you put 'em on
the website?

     Back to class struggles.  It's a very lonely place out here, I'd love
to hear from you!


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