Jeff Hopkins, photon-counting, reports that epsilon Aurigae has faded to match eta Aur at V = 3.17 on the morning of 15 Sept 2009. If you have been hesitating to get out and see the eclipse, NOW IS THE TIME to get in gear and watch it happen. If you have any sort of digital camera capable of recording the scene, start recording and archiving your data. Over the coming weeks, we anticipate posting more instructional material on the Data Analysis formum about how to process your images and deduce magnitudes - from visual comparisons as found in the 10 Star Tutorial, to aperture photometry tools available online (such as IRIS - http://astrosurf.com/buil/us/iris/astro/astro.htm - or with licensed software like CCDsoft, MaximDL, MIRA, etc...). Happy observRead more
Seems like epsilon Aurigae has decided to take the plunge this week, dropping to an estimated 3.14 mag visual as of Friday morning 9/11/09 Denver time - down by nearly 0.1 mag in just under a week. Fast phase may have arrived early - keep watching!
Robin LEadbeater has posted an excellent summary of his spectroscopic monitoring in the form of a poster presented at a recent BAA meeting:
Check it out!Read more
Samuel Beckett's play features characters who are simply hanging out, waiting for their friend Godot to show up. It may be beginning to feel this way with epsilon Aurigae too, as the slow phase of ingress grinds on. The current photometric V = 3.05 level suggests we are still within the range of normal out of eclipse light variation. However, the non-optical brightnesses are in decline, especially the I and J bands in the near-infrared.Read more
- Assume they are lying to deceive you!
- Know they are bad observers, so their opinion is worthless!
- They could be, and probably are, completely crazy. How many variable star observers have you met? I rest my case.
You're sending in more data and it's helping! We have an updated forum post about new evidence for the eclipse in the light curves. What's your say? Is it starting? Read the light curve and make a prediction.
I am happy to announce that the first phase of the Team section of the Citizen Sky website is now up and running!
You can start your own team or join an existing team. (You can search existing teams by keyword or see a list of all teams.) Team leaders have the ability to make team membership open to anyone, or if they are looking for something very specific, team leaders can moderate the joining process. Once the team has all of the necessary skills represented in its membership teams can even be closed.
Members of each team have the ability to create team posts. These posts can be public (anyone can read them) or private (only other members of your team can read them.) Read more
There are hints in recent visual observations of a decline in brightness for epsilon Aurigae. In this walk through, learn how to read data and the light curve to make your own decision. What do you think? "Is it real, or is it Memorex?"
Up until this point the Citizen Sky project has been operating with preliminary funding approval from the National Science Foundation (NSF.) In recent weeks we have been dealing with the last bits of "red tape" in the official approval process. Around lunchtime today we received word from the NSF that the final stages of processing have been completed and that the Citizen Sky grant has been officially awarded!
We are very excited to continue our progress on the Citizen Sky Project with the official support of the National Science Foundation!Read more
Several observers are reporting V = 3.00 in mid-August even though predictions that eclipse started in early August. Reviewing the past light curves indicates that ingress may have a slow and then a faster phase: in 1982 it took nearly 50 days to drop 0.2 mag, and then another 100 days to drop another 0.6 mags, visually. Translated to 2009, it may be late September before the star reaches eta Aur's brightness (~3.2). Patience.