Observed: 13, 16, 17 Jun 2012
21 Jun 2012
Time-series of this unusual cataclysmic star were obtained with B and V
filters. Flares were observed, with the object becoming bluer.
AE Aqr is a cataclysmic star, that is a binary with an accreting white dwarf. The orbital period is 9.9h with a small inclination (no eclipse). AE Aqr shows an oscillation with a very short period of 33s, which is interpreted as the rotation period of the magnetic white dwarf.
I already observed it in 2005.
In 2012 AE Aqr is observed with the MAGIC atmospheric Cerenkov gamma ray
in the Canaries, and there is a call to amateur astronomers to monitor it simultaneously.
The setup is the same as in 2005:
A 203 mm f/6.3 SC telescope,
V and B filters used alternatively with a filter wheel and a SBIG ST7E
camera (KAF401E CCD). The exposure durations were 200s with the B filter,
60s with the V filter. A total of 197 usable images were obtained (109
with the V filter, 88 with the B).
The comparison star is GSC 5177-01304 with V=9.930 and B=10.077 (the
same as in 2005). The check star
is GSC 5177-01044. I also observed HX Aqr, a suspected eclipsing variable,
which may be constant.
The light curves:
Green full line: the V magnitudes of AE Aqr, blue: the B magnitudes shifted by
-0.3mag, green dot line: the V magnitudes of the check star shifted by -0.2mag,
blue: the B magnitudes also shifted by -0.2mag. The error bars are +/- the
1-sigma statistical uncertainties.
Flares are therefore observed during which the object becomes bluer.
For HX Aqr: I detect no variation.
Telescope and camera configuration.
Computer and software configuration.