As 2011 dwindles down to a close, so does any spectroscopic evidence for the eclipse. Photometrically, the star returned to its 'normal' out of eclipse variations during late summer, featuring +/- 0.05 mag quasi-periodic fluctuations.
It's been a trail of discovery during 2009-2011, and study of the results will go on for years, but during the next few months, reviewing and updating early statements and claims seems appropriate.
Epsilon Aurigae has fascinated astronomers for parts of three centuries -- so far. The NASA Astrophysical Database Service keeps track of publications related to stars like this one. For the period prior to 1930, 23 papers are on record; for 1930-1960, 54 papers appeared, for 1961-1990 there were 200 papers, reflecting the explosion of interest surrounding the 1983 eclipse (with 173 of those during 1981-1990); more recently (1991-2011) there have been many dozens of papers, thus far.Read more
Greetings. Winter is nigh, and epsilon Aurigae is fast becoming part of the evening sky, making observing easy - except for the cold conditions.
While the photometric eclipse ended this summer, there remain spectroscopic traces of material from the disk still between us and the F star. These remnants can be seen in the H-alpha and sodium D lines, as well as in the neutral potassium line far in the red.
Large telescope observations are continuing, and so should your visual and photometric reports. Remote and robotic observations during November include:
CHARA+MIRC interferometric imaging (Nov.2nd);
MIRAC4 mid-IR spectroscopy (Nov.5th)
Spitzer IRAC near-IR photometry (Nov.17th)
IRTF/SpeX near-IR spectroscopy (Nov.27th)
and more in December.
In the coming weeks, I'll detail some of the recent findings, but you can read results of SpeX data newly published in the Astronomical Journal, at weblink:Read more