(cba:news) stars for the equinox

Joe Patterson jop at astro.columbia.edu
Wed Sep 10 11:46:09 EDT 2003

Dear CBAers,

Well, the 20-star paper was accepted and slated for the November PASP.
Yum yum, it cleans lots of stars off our proverbial plate.  You can
find the pdf version on our homepage.

I'm grinding away on a followup paper with more stars, and more
authors.  But school has started up again, so not quite as much time
for research now.  The rains have stopped too, with a similar negative
effect on research time (nuthin' like rain in the window to keep you at
your desk!).  Plus a looming grant proposal deadline.

Time to quite on several stars.  V794 Aquilae.  Lots of coverage on
this star, and we may well extract the period eventually... but so far
it hasn't jumped outa the computer and said boo.  Let's put it aside
for winter-time rumination.

HL Aqr.  As was true three years ago, this star has only a very low-
amplitude variation.  When I first studied it in 1991, it was about
0.06 mag.  We could detect that with no great difficulty.  However, 3.3
hour variations at significantly lower amplitude become very hard for
us, with worries about differential extinction and the problem in
getting long runs on equatorial stars.  I'm going to spend a few days
on this now... so I might jump up and say "back to the telescope".  But
for now I think we should take it off the menu.

RZ Gru.  Hold the phone on that one.  I'm gonna spend one more day on
it.  Looks like another star with excellent upper limits only.  Some
indication of a very long period... very naughty.

So it's pretty much a new menu...

Let's give VY Scl a top priority.  This is Paul Warhurst's favorite
star (I think).  A decent recommendation in itself.  But it's also high
time for the world to learn its orbital period - it's the prototype
for a whole class of CVs, and we're still wallowing in ignorance re
the period(s).  Nicely placed for very long coverage - plus some
short North American coverage to fill in gaps.

A good northern target is OR And.  This is one of the "Kitt Peak
Downes" survey stars, for which very little is known despite decent
brightness (14.5).  We should be able to hammer it.

Plus V592 Cas.  Time to revisit that old friend.  Beautifully placed
for long runs in the Sep-Oct sky, bright enough to laugh off the
assaults of moonlight.

And the equatorial stars AO Psc and FO Aqr remain peachy stars from all


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