My name is Russ Durkee, and I am an AAVSO member and a research instructor for Minnetonka High School in Minnesota. I am working with student Leonardo Clarke along with the guidance of Dr. Horace Smith to complete a project on RR Lyrae variables and their Blazhko periods.
We are requesting access to the AAVSO’s telescopes in order to increase our data on our project. Our project focuses on measuring the light curves of RR Lyrae stars in order to measure their Blazhko periods. Specifically, the project is looking for a correlation between each RR Lyrae variable star’s primary pulsation period and the changes in maximum magnitude that take place throughout its Blazhko period. The star ROTSE1 J180624.07+522856.8 has been identified as an RR Lyrae, but it does not seem to have any observations that have been submitted to the AAVSO. It would be a good object to add to our study. So far, we have observed the RRab star XX And and the RRc star RZ Cep at our local facility. But in order to gather more data on this new target, we would like to use the AAVSO’s telescopes if possible. In terms of outside research on the star, the only substantial study found through the SIMBAD database is “Evidence for a Milky way tidal stream reaching beyond 100 kpc.” DRAKE A.J., CATELAN M., DJORGOVSKI S.G., TORREALBA G., GRAHAM M.J., MAHABAL A., PRIETO J.L., DONALEK C., WILLIAMS R., LARSON S., et al. This study does not perform lightcurve analysis of ROTSE1 J180624.07+522856.8, but instead it includes the star in order to gather data on a possible tidal stream in the galactic halo. We hope to gather and analyze data on this star and include it in our project. At the very least, we would hope that the data that we gather helps to determine the star’s Blazhko period. Due to the star’s high declination, we would assume that the telescopes in New Hampshire and Massachusetts are optimal viewing locations. We are currently calibrating the images that we receive in MaximDL and plate solving all images using Visual Pinpoint and uploading the data to the AAVSO.The period of this object is approximately 14 hours, so we would need images taken at an interval of about 15 min each night using a Johnson V filter and repeating every few days. We hope to start observations as soon as possible and would continue until April 15th.