(cba:news) Mars and Stars

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Sat Aug 23 14:03:01 EDT 2003

Dear CBAers,

Lotta changes coming up.  The campaign on EC2117-54 ("Indus") went
swimmingly well, with assaults by Berto, Bob Rea, and Greg Bolt.  I'll try
to attach the densest portion of light curve in the next message.  It's a
cute eclipser - as we previously knew from Woudt & Warner - but our data
fill out a lot of other details.  It has a very stable orbital waveform,
not quite like any other CV I've seen.  No QPOs or related trash, and no
superhumps - in fact the best-quality nondetection in the Galaxy!
(Semi-amplitude upper limit of 0.009 mag anywhere near nu-orb).  So: it's
definitely a QUIT, but it's a light curve of great pulchritude!

Tonny has been vigorously observing V533 Her - long enough to connect the
recent humps with those of Feb-Mar in the O-C.  That's the goal... so it's
also a QUIT.

SDSS2258-09... oh my goodness gracious.  I'm having a lotta trouble with
this strange star.  Looks like a period near 8 hours... but this is
awkward for us, because we get differential extinction effects around that
period, and also because this particular star shows aperiodic magnitude
wandering on a timescale not too terribly different.  This is gonna
require some more careful study, but I'm reluctant to invest more
observing time until some more study of the data in hand.  So it's a QUIT,
for now.

LQ Peg, VW CrB, V1223 Sgr - also quits, for various reasons (too faint,
not in season).

To my surprise, no one took me up on RZ Gru except Lew Cook, who observed
it from Hawaii!  RZ Gru remains of very high interest.  Maybe you want to
wait for the bright of the Moon, or slightly later in the season.  It's
true that one wants LONG runs for this star, because the period is quite
unknown, and could be long.

There are two new equatorial stars which are in season and of high
interest to us, since we're interested in exploring the presence/signature
of superhumps in novalike variables.  These are V794 Aql (2017-03) and HL
Aqr (2220+02).  Both decently bright (though V794 Aql has deep low
states), very good candidates for superhumper status, and unexplored with
long time-series photometry.

Finally there's V1974 Cyg.  We have quite good coverage of it - from the
military and quasi-military sectors of the CBA (don't mess with us!) - and
see a very powerful superhump.  With a 45-day baseline, I think we can
declare the season over, and start to prepare this one for publication.


Oh, and what about Mars?  Sorry, it's just much on my mind these days, as
I'm gettin' ready to give numerous stargazing sessions in and near NY.
Including one on the beach at Coney Island.  THAT will be a first!

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