Photometry of Z Tauri to Minimum

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Walter R. Cooney, Jr.

Blackberry Observatory, 1927 Fairview Drive, Port Allen, LA 70767

Arne A. Henden
AAVSO, 49 Bay State Road, Cambridge, MA 02138

John Gross
Sonoita Research Observatory, Sonoita, AZ

Dirk Terrell
Southwest Research Institute, 1050 Walnut Street #400, Boulder, CO 80302

Received July 6, 2009; revised September 3, 2009; accepted September 7, 2009

The long period Mira variable, Z Tauri, was followed to near minimum magnitude in late 2006 and early 2007. Z Tau reached a minimum V magnitude of 18.0, well below the minimum of about 14 as found in the archival AAVSO data. Photometry from previous minima at the USNO confirm similar minima in previous cycles. The presence of a close companion star resulted in the erroneous minima derived from the visual data. A preliminary phased light curve of a field star located near Z Tau that was found to be variable is also presented.

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