• Newsletter Available!

    VSS Newsletter - January 2016 is now available for download!  

     

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  • V777 Sagittarii - Eclipse Ending - Measures Needed Urgently

    Calculations show that the present eclipse will start ending on 4 May and be complete by 7 May.  But these dates are uncertain and it would be good to get nightly measures in B and V (and U if anyone has that capability) starting now and continuing until mid-May or even later.  There is no value in monitoring the star - one measure a night, or two several hours apart, would be ideal.  Spectroscopy might identify the blue component and confirm its spectral class which seems to be variously classed as early A to mid-B. 

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  • L2 Puppis - a Bright Semi-regular star needing observations in this interesting phase

    The semi regular star L2 Puppis has been displaying some rather unusual behaviour since about July 2015.  In the 4-5 years preceding that date, the star was pulsating with a period of approximately 136 days and with a magnitude range between 6.0 and 8.5.  Since July 2015, the amplitude of variation has dramatically reduced to just over 0.5 mag (7.5 to 8.1 approximately).  This star has been well observed since 1891 and looking at the long term light curve it appears that L2 Pup has possibly experienced similar behaviour in the period around 1922 and 1937.
  • V694 Monocerotis is in a bright state at present - Visual, DSLR & CCD multifiltered measures and spectroscopy required

    V694 Mon is a well observed bright Z Andromedae star that has been in my visual observing program since late 2005. Figure 1 from Leibowitz and Formiggini (2015) shows the ongoing value of visual observations.  Z And stars are binary systems, and a subtype of cataclysmic variable stars. Leibowitz and Formiggini found V694 Mon has a 5.3 year period, somewhat evident in the light curve, reflecting possibly a pulsation period of a red giant, the (eccentric) orbital period of the binary system, or the precession of an accretion disc around a white dwarf.

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