The Mira Fourier Coefficient Team has scheduled two chat sessions to discuss the "to do" items for the upcoming JAAVSO journal article. The team is truely international so scheduling the chat resulted in early morning times in the US. The two chats will be held at:Read more
Check out a new light curve we have posted that contains all your data submitted since the start of the campaign!
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
The ninth issue of the Citizen Sky Newsletter has been released! Take a look and see what we've been up to.
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
Year 3 of Citizen Sky is underway. Here is an overview of what to expect in the next 12 months. And please remember to keep observing through the Winter!
It has been a while since I last provided a public update on the teams in which I am involved and even longer since I discuss what I've been up to, so in the next few paragraphs I'll summarize these activities. If you are looking for a team, the MIRA and eps Aur History teams I discuss below can always use more members as they have both have large projects on which assistance will be greatly appreicated.
Members from the MIRA Fourier coefficient team held an online chat session to discuss what needed to be done for the upcoming JAAVSO publication as well as some useful features to be implemented in VStar. The chat transcript is attached to this post.
The group established a timeline:
2011-xx-xx: Generate a list of ~400 MIRAs (completed)
2011-xx-xx: Pre-process these MIRAs to remove discrepant data points between JD 2440000 - 24550000 (deadline needs to be set)
2011-09-23 (or before): Brian provides the team with 10-20 sample MIRAs with known properties (periods, changes in periods, etc.) for testing/training.
2011-10-15: Have analysis of the sample MIRA data complete and report back to the team.
2011-11-15: Abstract and extended outline complete.
2012-01-15: First rough draft of JAAVSO publication complete
2012-03-01: JAAVSO publication submitted.
More details and an updated timeline can be found on the team timetable page (team membership may be required to view this page).
Robin Leadbeater, Three Hills Observatory in northern Britain, has assembled a master list of quite a few spectra obtained during the epsilon Aurigae campaign, many with direct access available. For details see:
We are encouraging Robin and all the contributors to work up summaries of their results for the JAAVSO special issue on epsilon Aurigae, scheduled for early next year.
Meanwhile, do have a look at zeta Aur eclipsing during November - see Brian's blog entry and my comment thereupon.