AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Proposal #112

Proposer (18286) Michael McNeely (michaelaaronmcneely@gmail.com) obscode: MMAE
Assigned To(3865) Elizabeth Waagen
Date SubmittedJune 27, 2019

During the academic year, I am a high school earth/space science, astronomy, and physics teacher at Bremen High School in northern Indiana, and I have been an amateur astronomer since the mid 1980s. For the past decade, I have been involved in summer research with the University of Notre Dame QuarkNet Center. The QuarkNet program employs high school students and teachers to perform research projects. We have had access to an 11-inch Celestron telescope and an SBIG ST8 CCD camera to perform observations and collect photometric data of variable stars. Our results have been submitted to the AAVSO under the user name MMAE. This summer, I have one high school student, M. Leichty of Adams High School, South Bend, Indiana, who is available to work with the data. She is interested in studying physics and astronomy after high school.

I would like to propose observations in the V band of the long period variable star TZ Cygni. Using a remote telescope in the AAVSONet, I propose bi-weekly observations between July 8 and September 30, 2019.

According to a paper by Percy and Terziev (JAAVSO Volume 39, 2011), observations of pulsating red giants are needed in order to study star behavior and any artifacts derived from the visual observing process. In Table 2 of the paper, TZ Cygni was listed under stars of “Higher Priority” to observe. Percy also refers to TZ Cygni in his 2015 article (JAAVSO Volume 43, 2015). From what I understand, CCD observations can be used to estimate any physiological effects of the observing process (the Ceraski effect, for example).

TZ Cygni is also a desirable target given our latitude in northern Indiana, and the star’s altitude during the summer season. It is a star that we could observe using the equipment described above. Despite this, I have been interested in getting involved with remote observing as a new direction to pursue for our summer data collecting. Various factors, mainly the weather and our personal schedules, prohibit much nighttime observing, and we usually achieve only 4-7 nights during our two-month summer program. The annual QuarkNet program will finish at the end of July 2019, but we will be able to continue to process the data until the proposed end in September. My main goal is to start this process, and have a few images to process and present as results by the end of our season in July. If all available AAVSONet sites are booked, I would at least want to begin observing next summer and use this proposal as a foot in the door. If my selection of TZ Cygni as research subject is inappropriate, then I would be interested in pursuing another variable star of interest.

After examining the available observing locations, I think that a location such as the Bright Star Monitor-New Mexico would work well for this project. If this site is booked, any other site in the continental United States would work.

Access to the AAVSONet images would be a wonderful opportunity to expand the scope of our summer work at the QuarkNet Center. Thank you for your consideration.

Target RA (H.HH) Dec (D.DD) Magnitude Telescope Observation Frequency Expiration Date Proprietary Term
TZ Cyg 19.267794 50.16019 11.7–9.6 No


(3663) Dirk Terrell — July 2, 2019, 9:45 a.m.

From Arne:

I'd recommend BVRI with 120/60/40/30sec exposures, 3x each filter per night to start and adjust from there.

(2911) Michael Nicholas — July 2, 2019, 3:55 p.m.

Assigned VPhot images to E Waagen (WEO)
Assigned to NH2 (Bin=2) and NM (Bin=1)
Plan=recommend BVRI with 120/60/40/30sec exposures (Changes: NM, B=80; NH2, x0.5 all exposures), 3x each filter per night to start and adjust from there.

(18286) Michael McNeely — July 12, 2019, 10:02 a.m.

Hi, I am having difficulty processing the sloan r images in Vphot. It delivers a magnitude of 0.0. I tried using the same comp stars as the R filter images. Also, Vphot delivers the following when I attempt to load comp stars:

"Comp stars/sequence exist, but none was imported due to no photometry for this particular filter, or too faint to be detected.0X24546AHW"

My student and I have been able to process the other filters. Thank you for providing this opportunity!

(4848) George Silvis — March 25, 2020, 1:28 p.m.

This is a test comment
This test to see if saving a comment will generate and email to the tac@aavso.org group.
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(4848) George Silvis — March 25, 2020, 1:31 p.m.

Sorry, another test message

(4848) George Silvis — March 25, 2020, 2:26 p.m.

And one more test message
Sorry about this

(4848) George Silvis — March 26, 2020, 1:55 p.m.

And again, a test message

Comments on this proposal are closed.