(cba:news) V803 Cen - borealites ignore

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Wed Aug 2 17:31:55 EDT 2000

Oops, Stan just emailed me that V803 Cen may be starting a superoutburst.
It is way, WAY late for a real campaign in Centaurus, but there is a
nagging doubt in my mind about this star that has always prevented me from
fully (well, absolutely fully) embracing the view that it's "just a dwarf
nova".  All other SU UMas make their superhumps very rapidly and with very
high amplitude (0.2-0.3 mag) at or near the beginning of superoutburst.
Our 1992 coverage suggested this was the case, but certainly did not prove
it; so far, the arguments supporting this allegation that I stitched
together for this year's paper were based on data segments from
*different* superoutburst (and even post-superoutburst) episodes.  That's
just too uncertain to be unreliable.

All we need to do is follow the star for an hour per night for 5 nights.
That'll test the hypothesis.  If the hump amplitude drops sharply,
we can happily yawn and throw V803 Cen into the dwarf-nova bin.  Pretty
nice reward for a little work!


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