Blog

Blog

Citizen Sky is now officially permanent part of the AAVSO. In the coming weeks we will be moving additional content to the AAVSO site and freezing this site as an archive of the 1st three years of the project. Please visit the new landing page for future updates.

Submit Your Data!

We are happy to announce that Citizen Sky participants can now submit their data for any of the 10 stars included in the 10 Star Tutorial online!  (Simply go to the "Submit" link in the Data menu - you must be logged on to Citizen Sky.)Read more

Posted by Rebecca on July 28, 2009 - 4:00pm

Our First Publication: CBET #1885!

CBET #1885 is the first publication of the Citizen Sky project! Congrats to Robin and all the observers who submitted data for the publication. Read the publication and a description of it in this post in our Data Analysis forum.

Posted by Aaron Price on July 28, 2009 - 10:53am

Project Update

It has been a while, so I thought I’d update everyone on a few components of the Citizen Sky Project.

The website continues to grow with more and more content and features being added.  Very shortly you will be able to submit and view your own data via the Citizen Sky website (under the “Data” menu.)  After that our wonderful web developer, Kate, will start to work on activating the team section of the site.  Go read the overview if you haven’t heard about the Citizen Sky Team concept!Read more

Posted by Rebecca on July 21, 2009 - 6:51pm

Light Curves for Fun and Profit

New to variable stars and wondering what a light curve is? Sadly, it's not a cool weapon from Star Wars (although I imagine Jedi would find them useful for fighting around corners). I've recently wrote a forum post describing light curves and how to read them. Check it out and post your questions and comments. 

Posted by Aaron Price on July 21, 2009 - 4:18pm

Evidence for eclipse starting

Robin Leadbeater just provided spectroscopic evidence that the eclipse is starting - and on the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 moonlanding.
Leadbeater has been following the neutral potassium absorption line at 7699A in the far red, and reports a doubling of the equivalent width (area inside the curve).   The new component has appeared about 1/3A longward of the longterm line, corresponding to a redshift of about 20 to 25 km/sec, which is consistent with radial velocity of ingress (see Lambert and Sawyer, 1986: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1986PASP...98..389L -- figure 2, attached.
Photometric confirmation is eagerly anticipated.  Congrats Robin!
Read more

Posted by Dr.Bob on July 20, 2009 - 10:58pm

First Contact

What is meant by first contact?

Basically it's the start of the eclipse. The point where the eclipsing body first touches the primary star's image and starts a decrease in the primary star's brightness as seen from Earth. But it's not so simple. With epsilon Aurigae, first contact appears to be wavelength dependent. This means that the longer (red and visual bands) wavelengths will start to show an eclipse before the shorter (blue and ultraviolet bands) wavelengths. Read more

Posted by phxjeff on July 16, 2009 - 11:17pm

Mid-July and the pursuit of epsilon Aurigae from the mountain

7/10/09 - we've entered a special time with THREE local eclipse events heralding the predicted start of eclipse for eps Aur: a partial lunar eclipse this week, a total solar eclipse on 7/22 and another lunar eclipse on 8/5 - same week as start of eps Aur eclipse and the Adler meeting!

We've been frustrated at the mountain due to access road repair by the state highway department and cloudy mornings - thus , no new  SSP4 data this week.  We plan to try again later next week.  Read more

Posted by Dr.Bob on July 10, 2009 - 10:49pm

Chat Transcript w/Dr. Arne Henden

 Dr. Arne Henden, PI of this project and director of the AAVSO, was in the chat room on Friday, July 10 at 1pm EST (-4UT). A transcript is attached to this blog post. He took questions on CCD and DSLR photometry of bright stars. We will host future chats for beginning visual observers and spectroscopy in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Posted by Aaron Price on July 8, 2009 - 4:04pm

Artists Needed for... art!

We are looking for a few good artists... or one would do, actually. We have a press release prepared and ready to be published as soon as the powers-that-be finish filling out some paperwork. However, we don't have an illustration or a logo to describe epsilon Aurigae or our project. Read this post in our forums for how to help!Read more

Posted by Aaron Price on July 6, 2009 - 11:38am

End of June 2009 on the mountain pursuing epsilon Aurigae

We were fortunate to have 3 relatively photometric mornings to study eps Aur and friends with the SSP4 photometer - J & H bands (1.2 and 1.6 microns).  Visually, eps appears brighter than eta Aur (3.2) - in agreement with other reports coming in.  What's odd is that eps appears to have stayed in bright phase since the last minimum of light in early March 2009.  What will happen during these last 3 weeks prior to predicted start of blue color eclipse?  Calibration work on our data is underway, and we plan to persist with these measurements during July - give or take highway department's plans to rebuild the access roadway!  Full report at the Adler meeting in early August - including pictures of the baby mountain goats (Capella and her kids, literally).

Posted by Dr.Bob on July 4, 2009 - 10:53am

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