(cba:news) WZ Sge and September stars

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Thu Sep 6 10:21:44 EDT 2001

Dear CBAers,

WZ Sge continues to bump along up there between magnitude 11 and 12, with
these little "echo outbursts" that are so puzzling.  At ~1.5 day
intervals, and 9 of them so far!  Getting awfully hard to track the
damn thing.  Sure would be nice if someone knew what they are.

Many of the heroes of August are taking a rest now.  Michael Richmond has
resumed teaching (hardly a rest, ha!), and Gianluca Masi is taking some
well-deserved R&R.  Tonny Vanmunster cleverly took his vacation when the
star erupted, so is now enslaved to the star for the decline.  The New
Zealanders may be getting grumpy about observing northern stars.  Donn
Starkey and Brian Martin are still keeping the faith, getting long runs as
weather permits.  Lew Cook stubbornly refuses to quit his job and observe
every night, but rules the weekend nights.  Arne Henden is resting
somewhere near Flagstaff (excellent choice).

Anyway, we do need some new heroes!  Or the return of well-rested old
ones.  Jonathan starts a new observing run on the 1.3 m tonight for 11
nights, when we hope to do a good job defining the eclipse phase
(especially).  Since WZ Sge has 2 other competitors for time (KL Dra and
GD 552), we hope to rely on CBAers around the Earth to provide the long
coverage needed to specify the periodic clocks (orbit, superhump,
whatever).  It would help us to know your observing plans, as we juggle
priorities.  Jonathan's email and phone at the observatory are
jk at cbastro.org and 520-318-8661.

We've still not put up a WZ Sge webpage, because individual CBAers
have better ones that we can make - instead I've worked hard on the
scientific analysis, trying to cope with all the complexity WZ Sge has
flung at us.  I expect to get something slapped together by mid-fall
(classes have started here too).

So the stars of the month are still WZ Sge (both hemispheres - I hope!),
AO Psc (both), FO Aqr (both), V709 Cas (north), V1223 Sgr (south).
And KL Dra (very difficult) and GD 552 = Cep 1 for people who love those
far-northern guys.

Have a great old time observing.  What amazing intricacies WZ Sge is
hurling at us this year!  I only hope we can figure 'em out.


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