(cba:news) Stars for the Solstice

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Thu Jun 19 20:07:31 EDT 2003

Dear CBAers,

I'm starting to pack up to go back to NYC now.  It's only 60 miles, but
for any move to or from New York, tack on an extra 2000 for
aggravation.  Anyway, sorry, that's why communications have been a bit
slow lately.

Another aggravation is that 2003 is proposal-writing year.  Every third
year I need to spend a lot of time on proposals for continued CBA funding.
Mostly they have been successful, but it's always subject to the whims of
just who happens to be on the selection committee in a particular year.
You might think it would be people known for their Solomonesque wisdom...
but the reality is much closer to a random selection of astronomers not
feeling particularly busy when that phone call or email arrives.  So it's
a time of anxiety for people writing the damn proposals; you have to
accept a large chance component in the outcome.  Sort of like swinging at
a good knuckleball (for baseball fans).

And funding in the U.S. is really a necessity, I'm afraid.  It costs
~$15000/year just for "page charges" alone.

The reason I bother you with this stuff is that it is helpful for us to
have the label "CBA" out there associated with the results that come out
of our enterprise.  So as you disseminate your work around the planet,
consider using that label, if you don't find it too awkward or
embarrassing.  In the long run, it does raise visibility and
credibility, and improves our prospects for long-term existence
(funding)... although of course it's no big deal in any particular case.

On to stars.  V803 Cen has been having a great outburst and post-outburst.
The coverage is a touch less than in 1997 and 2000, but on the other hand
this year's coverage started right as the SO started, unlike the others.
Long runs by Bob Rea, Berto, Greg Bolt, Neil Butterworth, and Bill Allen
have been filling CBA coffers.  Keep up the vigil!

OU Vir has long disappeared below the radar (except for the 1.3 m), and GO
Com has gotten faint too.  We'll track it with the 1.3 m, but I think it's
really gone for the CBAers (correct me if I'm wrong - how bright is it

The star I recommend most highly now is V1494 Aql.  It has pronounced dips
every 3.2 hours, and other variations on a similar timescale that may be
superhumps (or something like it).  It's nearly an all-night object for
the north, and a good second-half object for the south.  About 15th

However, V603 Aql is quite timely too, for basically the same reasons,
only it is 3.5 mag brighter, and you can expect to get much better data.
This should really be the start of a 2-month campaign on V603 Aql - just
invite it into your life for the most of the summer/winter.  You can flirt
with both for a while, but eventually I recommend you adopt V1494 or V603
as your main man.  The people who like order will be drawn to V1494, while
V603's the choice if you kinda like those light curves on the wild side.

I think you've suffered enough with MV Lyrae.  I'll write more on it
later, but... it's just too wild for any of us I think (except maybe Elena
Pavlenko, who does awfully well with it).

Very simple list for early summer/winter!


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