(cba:news) observing campaigns

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Wed Jul 2 09:04:11 EDT 2003

Hey CBAers,

Michael's suggestion re same-longititude-same-star observations appears
sound to me.  I don't think the background chatter on "news" is too high
for anyone quite yet.

I do have a word of warning, though.  We've tried this before, with not so
good results.  Consider some of the factors which dilute our frequency of
observation.  (1) Since this is an "amateur" collaboration, no one is
technically at work (and nobody ever gets mad about it, or for that
matter anything else).  No one manages to observe quite as much as they
hoped.  (And if you do, you need to increase your hopes) (2) Nearly
everyone fights against the weather. (3) People have a tendency to defer
to the bigger telescopes.

Finally, I use overlappped observations to calibrate one observatory
against another.  I don't need very much overlap to do this... but I do
need some strictly simultaneous overlap of good quality.

Not to stress the point too much, though!  I do think that observer
communication is useful for many things, certainly including "when to take
a break".

By the way, some more discussion re V603 Aql.  This is the brightest
superhumper in the sky, the most equatorial, and the superhumps appear
to be the most permanent.  Thus it definitely seems like the best choice
to learn more about the fine structure of superhumps.  We made a decent
start on this in our 1997 paper - but it's time to "take it to the next
level" (American sports lingo).  We do need contributions from all
longitudes to keep the spectral window benign, though.  I'm hoping the
Kiwis and Aussies will get interested in this, as we rely on them for a
huge swath of longitude!


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