CCD Views June 2001

                 25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
                 Tel. 617-354-0484       Fax 617-354-0665

                             C C D   V I E W S
                           June, 2001  Vol 2 No 1

 Table of Contents
 1. Introduction to the New CCD Views
 2. Rare Superoutburst of AL COM
 3. SU UMa Campaign
 4. Rare GU Sgr Fading
 5. Comments on Faint LPVs by J.A.M
 6. Recently Published CCD Charts
 7. Appulse Data
 8. Extrasolar Planetary Transit Monitoring of IL AQR

     This is the first issue of a new electronic edition of CCD Views.
This newsletter is published by AAVSO Technical Staff (Aaron Price) and
the AAVSO CCD Committtee Chair (Gary Walker) for variable star
observers with an interest in CCD observing. Both Aaron and Gary are
avid CCD variable star observers. Our goal is to support your observing
program with lists of new targets, new observing program ideas, summary
of recent activity of faint variables, and the publication of other
issues important to CCD observing. I will add comments on stars (mostly
LPVs) and other news from time to time. We want to provide the initial
ideas for observing programs.
     CCD Views will be published bimonthly and as needed. It will be
distributed primarily via e-mail and will be archived on our WWW site.
To receive CCD Views send a message to with
"subscribe ccdviews" in the body of the e-mail.
     This is a new format for CCD Views so we anticipate some tweaking
and minor changes over the first few issues. Newsletters like this
normally do not hit their stride for a few months, so please bear with
us. We are eager to receive any feedback about what you may like, don't
like, and what you would like to see in future editions. Please send
your comments to
     Thank you and we hope you find this new publication useful and
     Good observing!
     Janet Mattei (JAM)


     The SU Ursae Majoris-type dwarf nova AL Comae Berenices is
undergoing a rare superoutburst. CCD observers are urged to search for
superhumps (small-amplitude periodic oscillations), making observations
every 5 minutes for as long as possible during the night and recording
the time to four decimal places while this star is in superoutburst.  
Please use an I filter if you have one, otherwise use V filter. For
more information consult AAVSO Alert Notice #283 at the URL below:

     This star has a very interesting behavior and superhumps during   
superoutburst.  We had excellent CCD coverage during its 1995
superoutburst and we published the results in a collaborative paper
(Howell et al 1996, Astr. Journal,.. ). We would like to do it again
with this superoutburst if we have enough coverage.

     Please submit your observations to the AAVSO as soon as possible
so that we can began working with the data and coordinate further     

     Here is an example of good photometry in I by Doug West:
	MAY 25.1167  2452054.6168   13.50  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1203  2452054.6204   13.82  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1214  2452054.6214   13.63  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1277  2452054.6278   13.62  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1313  2452054.6313   13.51  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1345  2452054.6346   13.51  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1381  2452054.6382   13.50  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1419  2452054.6419   13.55  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1455  2452054.6455   13.42  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1491  2452054.6492   13.61  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1510  2452054.6511   13.55  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1548  2452054.6548   13.53  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1584  2452054.6584   13.36  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1620  2452054.6621   13.52  WJD  CCDI
	MAY 25.1656  2452054.6657   13.34  WJD  CCDI

     Here are some recent observations of AL COM:
	MAY 30.1882  2452059.6882   13.8   SXN Y
	MAY 30.7354  2452060.2354   13.7:  BTH M
	MAY 30.9325  2452060.4326   13.9   JCN K
	MAY 30.9402  2452060.4402   14.04  SMI  CCD
	MAY 30.9459  2452060.446    13.7   MGH KY
	MAY 31.9375  2452061.4375   13.9   JCN K


     Please remember to monitor SU UMa closely through the end of the
month. A colleague from The University of Leicester has been awarded
time on RXTE to observe the dwarf nova SU UMa regularly through
June. Please keep a close eye on this star and report your observations
regularly to the AAVSO as our colleague is checking the Quick Look File
often.  We are also periodically sending him data files so that he can
correlate his x-ray data with the optical data. Please use the SU UMA
visual charts to make your estimates. 
     SU UMa belongs to a subclass of dwarf novae which has frequent,
faint, and narrow outbursts along with infrequent, long, and bright
superoutbursts. Superhumps appear during such outbursts at periods of
2%-3% of the orbital period. In fact, these superhumps are important
because scientists often use them to determine the orbital period of
the system.
     For more information read "Outburst Characteristics in the Dwarf
Nova SU Ursae Majoris" by P. Rosenzweig, et. al. in P.A.S.P Volume 112,
Issue 771, pp. 632-641. The abstract is available via ADS at:
(URL should be on one line)
     SU UMA was featured as the February 2000 Variable Star of the
Month available at .
     In addition, SU UMa recently underwent another outburst as 
reported in News Flash #791 with the following observations:

    UT        Mag.     Initials              UT        Mag.     Initials
MAY 29.9380   14.2       PYG             MAY 30.9270   11.8       GUN
MAY 30.1430  <13.9       SXN             MAY 30.9485   12.2       RMQ
MAY 30.8950  <13.4       GUN             MAY 30.9687   12.08  CCD SMI
MAY 30.9270   11.8       GUN             MAY 31.2784   11.9:      LMK

     This campaign was originally reported in  News Flash #772.


     As originally reported in IAU Circular #7619, GU SGR (1818-24), a
R CrB star which doesn't fade often, is beginning to fade quickly after
being at maximum light for about 8 years. As of the end of May the star
has faded from 10.4 to 16.6. During the last minimum in 1988 it reached
mag 16.4.
     Thanks to the following observers for notifying us of this fading
via their observations:
	S. Otero, Buenos Aires, Argentina
	S. O'Connor, Montreal North, QC
	R. Stubbings, Druin, Victoria, Australia
	A. Pearce, Nedlands, W. Australia

     Recent observation of GU SGR:
	MAY 20.2938    16.6   OCN  CCDV
	MAY 20.3014   <15.7   OCN  CCDR
	MAY 22.6480   <14.6   PEX
	MAY 26.8580   <14.6   PEX


     Below is a list of mostly faint LPVs that may be of interest to
CCD observers next month. This list combines elements of the AAVSO
Bulletin, Quick Look files, and long term data. Stars listed are
generally faint and either in need of more observations or show some
strange behavior that needs to be studied. We realize that many of
these objects have charts that need improvement. Please continue to use
these charts until we are able to release new ones. It is important for
these long term variables that new charts and comparison stars are not
issued haphazardly.

0045+33 RR AND <9.1-15.1>
     Minima need to be better monitored to determine behavior and to
     predict future minima. Use AAVSO f scale chart and comp stars.

0159+12 S ARI <10.9-15.2>
     Cycles in 2000 and 2001 are not well monitored. Go for
     early morning coverage to reduce the seasonal gap.    

0212+81 Z CEP <10.8-15.4>
     Although circumpolar, large gaps exist around minima. Next
     predicted minima is June 18.                              

0242+37 AI PER 11.0-15.5
     Large gaps exist in the light curve, particularly around minima.
     CCD charts with B-V and V-R values are available on the AAVSO FTP

0452+56 TX CAM 8.1-(15.3
     Another northern polar very poorly monitored in 2000.

0513-16 X LEP 8.8-15.6
     Needs predawn observations as it is fading to minimum.

0728-20B Z PUP <8.1-14.5>
     Very poorly monitored in 2000. Presently fading to a minimumin

1353-04 SY VIR 
     Maxima in 2000 was about 1 magnitude fainter at 10.5. Minima
     poorly observed. Use AAVSO e-scale chart that has well measured
     and faint comp stars.
1405-12A Z VIR
     Needs more data around the minimum and on the ascendancy branch
     of the light curve. Use e-scale standard chart.

1853+16 EU AQL
     In need of more observations throughout the entire light curve.
     Use e-scale chart even though it may need a better comp star sequence.

1855-12A ST SGR
     Very poorly monitored around minimum. Go for it now. Predicted minima 
     is July 5. Use f-scale preliminary chart to make the estimate. An 
     e-scale standard chart is available for finding the field.

1906+43 ST LYR
     For several years it has been poorly observed near minima making 
     predictions very difficult.

1909+31 EL LYR
     Needs more observations around minima on June 13. The e-scale preliminary
     chart unfortunately is inadequate for it needs fainter magnitudes, do the
     best you can.

1922+01 TU AQL
     Needs more observations near minima in order to determine the true
     minima brightness. Beware of close by magnitude 11 star. Use e-scale
     preliminary chart.

2003+57 S CYG
     Needs positive observations around minima. Use e-scale standard chart.

2008-22 W CAP
     Badly in need of more observations, particularly around minima
     predicted for June 26. 

2011-39 RT SGR
     Very badly in need of observations at all phases of its light curve.
     CCD observers may be able to get positive observations better than 
     visual using the poor sequence on our d-scale chart. Go for it.

2012+09 RU DEL
     Needs more positive observations around minima.

2022-40 U MIC
     The star is in desperate need of more observations at all phases. Only a 
     few observatiosn exist since 1999. Presently it is fading to minimum 
     predicted for August 7.

2042-15 U CAP
     Another LPV in desperate need of observations at all phases. Has a 
     good e-scale standard chart.

2056-27 RR CAP
     Needs more observations around minima, predicted for early July.

 This is only meant as a guide and should not be considered a
comprehensive list of LPV CCD targets. Please let us know whether you
find this list useful by sending comments to

     Please remember that over 40 new CCD charts were released in
January on the AAVSO FTP site. Of these 40, 19 are Miras, 10 are CVs
and the rest belong to a wide variety of types. This brings the total
number of CCD charts to above 70. We expect to be releasing many more
in the next month or so. All of these charts are available at the URL
          [URL REMOVED -- see for modern charts]


     An "appulse" is the near approach of one heavenly body to another.
We would like to conduct an informal experiment to observe CVs close to
the full Moon. These are CVs that cannot be observed by visual
observers because of lunar interference.
    Below is a list of five CVs that will be around 20 degrees from the
full Moon on June 6.  Please observe these stars, at least once per
night, on every possible night between June 2 and June 10 UT inclusive.  
There may be a large background gradient or glints in the CCD field; do
your best to get good photometry.  We are only asking for observations
at the 0.1mag level of accuracy; anything more precise will be
difficult because of such sky gradients and the probable faintness of
the CVs.  If at all possible, use an R or an I filter to decrease the
scattered moonlight.  For any filter, go ahead and report your data
based on the chart magnitudes, but indicate what filter was used.

  Designation    Name        Distance(deg)          Range(1)
   1542-42       AB NOR        26.2               13.9p-<19.0j
   1633+08       V544 HER      29.6               14.5p-20p
   1751-14       MU SER	       16.1               7.7v-<21p
   1805-14       UZ SER        19.2               11.9v-16.0v  

     Please report your results and comments to,
even if you catch a CV in outburst. This e-mail address will be checked
many times per day so such an outburst will make it into the News
Flash. These can be informal reports and do not need to be in the
official AAVSO format. If we find that it is possible to perform .1 mag
level photometry this close to the full Moon then every month we will
publish a list of CVs to observe for the 4 days prior to and after the
full moon.
     Charts for these stars are available on the AAVSO Variable
Star Chart CDROM or at

(1) From "A Catalog and Atlas of Cataclysmic Variables" by Ronald
Downes, et. al. available at

     In June, 2 windows of opportunity exist for the possible detection
of planetary transits around IL AQR. 5 minute integrations should be
made during the observing windows. Transits could last 2-4 hours and
could dim the star by as little as a few hundredths to a few tenths of
a magnitude.
Planet        Predicted Transit Time(UT)    Full Window
-----------  ----------------------------   -----------
Gliese 876b  2452079.97  (11:17 June 19)    Jun. 14-26
Gliese 876c  2452080.9   (09:36 June 20)    Jun. 14-26

The position of IL AQR/Gliese 876 is:
 R.A. = 22h 53m 16.7s     Decl. = -14 degrees 15' 49"  (2000)

    For much more detail about this possible event consult AAVSO Alert
Notices #281 & #282 at the URLs below:

 CNN & also covered this subject at these URLs:,1294,43865,00.html


     CCD Views is published bimonthly and when circumstances warrant
via e-mail. An archive is available at .  
Please send comments and suggestions to

     To receive CCD Views via e-mail send a message to with "subscribe ccdviews" in the body of the
e-mail. To unsubscribe, place "unsubscribe ccdviews" in the e-mail.

     The AAVSO has many free online publications including "Eyepiece
Views", a similar newsletter intended for visual observers. To learn
more and subscribe visit:

 Good observing!

 Aaron Price, AAVSO Technical Assistant (PAH)
 Gary Walker, Chairman of the AAVSO CCD Committee (WGR)

Copyright 2001, American Association of Variable Star Observers
                25 Birch Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA
                Tel. 617-354-0484       Fax 617-354-0665