light curves; observing; eclipse; ingress; totality; egress
Photometric observer Richard Miles reported a V band magnitude of 3.02 for epsilon Aurigae this past week, which essentially matches the pre-eclipse average and signals the end of optical eclipse (4th contact). The long march through eclipse is over. However, we still need your observations for at least the balance of this year in order to more precisely define 4th contact after-the-fact, and to characterize the magnitude of out of eclipse variations (~0.1 mag in V). Information on the latter will be helpful in comparison with planned post-eclipse observations with both the CHARA Array MIRC imager (with exciting new 6 telescope mode) and the IRTF SpeX infrared instrument.
What do we learn from the fine light curves now collected?
Step one: timing of events in the light curves.
Step two: analysis of "fine structure" present in the light curves.
Step one: Read more
Thursday's edition of Astrobites features a review of a newly accepted article by Don Hoard and friends, concerning the infrared sides of epsilon Aurigae's disk:
The review was written by 2nd year Harvard grad student, Courtney Dressing, whose include exoplanets, habitability, and astrobiology.
As Courtney notes, the cold side of the disk runs at 550 +/- 50K while the side facing the F star heats to 1150 +/- 50K. This temperature difference is a major, major clue to the composition of disk material (thermal capacity) and may be pivotal in deciding the binary star separation. Continued infrared and optical observatons of the system, as the heated side of the disk comes increasingly into view as we approach quadrature offer prospects for revealing the heating and cooling balance present in these regions.Read more