(cba:news) WZ Sge in eruption

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Thu Jul 26 14:55:32 EDT 2001

Dear CBAers,

Well, WZ Sge has been bright for 4 days now, and we're getting some good
light curves (Masi, Skillman, Allen).  We could use a *lot* more coverage,
though.   It's the brightest and nearest dwarf nova, and has chosen to
erupt at a perfect time - when it's crossing the meridian near
midnight.  It may teach us a great deal about dwarf nova superoutbursts by
the time the eruption is finally over.  In 1978, the star erupted in
December, a very awkward time for Sagitta.

So fire away on WZ!  You'll want to use a *short* integration time and
study the images for possible saturation, since it's still very bright at
about 8.7.  Mainly we want long light curves, our usual thing.  Most
people are using GSC 1621:1830 as a comp star, but you'll want to change
when the star gets a lot fainter.

At +17 deg, it's somewhat accessible to the southerners too, and since
they're at a critical longitude, I hope they can get some data too.
Lemme know if you'd like me to send the running light curve.

Many big scopes are slewing around towards WZ Sge these days too.  In fact
Chandra is making two observations in the next 2 days (earliest is
tonight).  Here are the times:

July 27   244-850 UT
July 29   1649-1840 UT

Simultaneous optical coverage will be extra valuable of course!

Happy observing!


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