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Binocular Priority stars in 1995

M D Taylor

The priority list of brighter (binocular) variables as noted in VSS Circulars 70 and 72 is based on; the variable's observability, its usefulness from a Pro-Am viewpoint, and the need for refining data from the General Catalogue such as periods, amplitude or sub-type. An original aim of publishing the priority list was to encourage observers to follow these stars once every 10 days, or 5 days for more rapid types.
An abbreviated summary according to a preliminary investigation as to the visual changes of these stars during 1995 is given below together with 'raw' light curves. Listed is: variable's name, extreme magnitude range by individual observers, main characteristic of variability and the Catalogue (GCVS, 1985) information in brackets. For small amplitude stars (with the exception of Y Tauri) the star's mean magnitude and standard deviation is noted. Well defined maxima and minima are noted where appropriate as well as unusual variability. A month (or months) in brackets shows the star was not estimated in that time, other than when the variable was near conjunction with the Sun. A comment as to a serious lack of observations or other anomalies which observers may care to follow-up is appended in the hope that the listed variables are targetted. The light curves are not final information as only selected estimates have been used in the single estimate plots against a generally crude time scale. A larger dot size simply refers to two or more coincident magnitude estimates. The work of all observers of these stars is very much appreciated, and acknowledged in the preparation of this summary.
One variable on the list, RW Hya at RA 13h 31.5m Dec -25 7' a ZAND type, 8.0 to 9.0 was not observed adequately in 1995 and is thus not listed.

AQ And      8.1 - 9.1, Sep, Oct magnitude 8.5, main variations 8.5 to 8.9.
            (SR, 8.0 - 8.9, 346d)
EG And      7.1 - 7.7, mean magnitude. 7.5 s.d.0.1. (ZAND, 7.1 - 7.8V)
            Near M31
V Aql       6.8 - 7.8, 7.4 s.d. 0.2, Oct 7.2, (Dec). (SRB, 6.4 - 8.4V, 353d)
UU Aur      5.2 - 6.1, slow variations, mag 5.5  (Jun). Sep to Dec 5.7.
            (SRB, 5.1 - 6.8, 234d)
AB Aur      6.7 - 7.2, 6.94 s.d. 0.13 (May)   (INA, 6.9 - 8.4V, B9)
V Boo       8.0 - 9.3, Maximum Aug 8.0, (Jun, July). (SRA 7-12V, 258d, M6).
RW Boo      7.3 - 8.5, 8.1 s.d. 0.3, fainter at beginning of year,
            Jun/July 7.8. (SRB, 6.4 - 7.9, 209d, M5)
RX Boo      7.6 - 8.3, 8.09 s.d. 0.13. (SRB, 6.9 - 9.1, 160d, M6-M8)
U Cam       7.4 - 8.7, brightening from start of year at mag. 8.7 to max.
            Mar 8.1, main variations 8.1 to 8.5, (Jun). (SRB, 7.7 - 8.7,  P?).
ST Cam      6.6 - 7.6, Mar, Aug 7.1, main variations 7.1 - 7.6 (May).
            (SRB, 6 - 8, 300d?)
XX Cam      7.3 - 7.8, 7.5 s.d. 0.1 all year, (Jun). (RCB?, 7.3 - 9.7)
X Cnc       6.3 - 7.1, Mar, Oct 6.5 main variations 6.5 to 6.9.
            (SRB, 5.6 to 7.5, 195d).
RS Cnc      5.7 to 6.8, monthly mean magnitude range 6.0 to 6.5,
            Mar and Dec 6.0, May 6.5. (SRC, 5.1 - 7.0, 120d? M6)
V CVn       6.9 - 8.6, mean variation 7.2 to 8.0, pre-max. 'step' mag 7.5
            (SRA, 6.5 - 8.6V, 192d, M4-M6).
WZ Cas      7.0 - 7.9, few estimates, mean mag. 7.25 s.d. 0.22.
            (SRB, 6.9 - 8.5, 186d).
V465 Cas    6.0 - 7.6, Mar 6.8, May 6.7, Sep 6.7, large scatter between
            individual observers. (SRB, 6.2 - 7.2, 60d, M5)
gamma Cas   1.9 - 2.4, 2.21 s.d. 0.10. (GCAS, 1.6 - 3.0V)
rho Cas     3.8 - 5.1, main variations 4.4 to 5.0. Much scatter between
            individual observers. Brighter in last half year.
            (SRD, 4.1 to 6.2V, 320d?, F8 - K0)
W Cep       8.0 - 8.8, 8.40 s.d. 0.16. (SRC, 7.0 - 9.2, K0 - M2
AR Cep      7.3 - 8.4, fading at start of year to Feb minimum, slow, small
            amlitude variations July/Aug/Sep, SR changes in range 7.6 to 8.0.
            (SRB, 7.0 - 7.9p, M4)
mu Cep      Monthly mean magnitude range 3.9 to 4.3, Jan 3.9, Nov 4.3,
            Dec 4.2. (SRC, 3.4 - 5.1V, 730d, M2)
omicron Cet Rapid rise from Jan mag 9.0 to mid-march 5.0, possibly high max.
            (?), fading from July mag 6.3 to Dec 9.2
            (M, 2.0 - 10.1V, 332d, M5 - M9).
R CrB       5.9 - 14.0, light curve shows daily magnitudes from Aug 01 to
            Oct 12 covering the start of the fade, Oct 30, 12.5, Nov 04,
            12.2, Dec 24, 14.0
W Cyg       5.7 - 7.2, see light curve. (SRB, 5.0 - 7.6, 131d, M4 - M6)
AF Cyg      6.7 - 7.8, see light curve, there is considerable scatter in
            estimates. (SRB, 6.4 - 8.4, 92d, M5 - M7).            
CH Cyg      8.4 - 9.6, main variations 8.7 to 9.3, mid-Apr 8.7, then from
            May to Dec 9.0 to 9.3. (ZAND + SR, 5.6 - 9.5V, M7+Be)
U Del       6.5-7.4, 6.98 s.d. 0.15. (SRB, 5.6-7.5, 110d?, M5).
EU Del      5.8-6.8, 6.36 s.d. 0.29, Sep 6.7. (SRB, 5.8-6.9V, 60d, M6)
RY Dra      6.8-8.0, slow variations 7.0 to 7.5. (SRB? 6-8, 200d?)
TX Dra      7.1-8.3, semi-regular variations 7.2 to 7.8.
            (SRB, 6.8-8.3, 78d?, M4-M5)
AH Dra      7.7-8.3, 8.00 s.d. 0.23, few observations.
            (SRB, 7.1-7.9, 158d, M7)
NQ Gem      8.2-8.6, 8.43 s.d. 0.09, few observations.
            (SR+ZAND, 7.4-8.0V, 70d?)
X Her       6.3-7.3, monthly mean magnitudes 6.5 to 7.1, max. Jun 6.5.
            (SRB, 6.3 - 7.4, 95d, M6)
SX Her      8.0-8.9, slow variations 8.0 to 8.5, magnitude 8.3 at start
            of year, Mar 8.0, Dec 8.5. (SRD, 8.0-9.2, 103d, G3-KO)
UW Her      7.7-8.7, main variations 8.25 s.d. 0.28. (SRB, 7.8-8.7, 104d)
AC Her      7.0-8.4, mean variation; max. 7.3/7.5, minI 8.2/8.3,
            minII 7.8/8.1. (RVA, 6.8-9.0V, 75d, F2-K4).
IQ Her      6.9-7.8, few estimates. 7.49 s.d. 0.21. (SRB, 7.0-7.5, 75d, M4)
OP Her      5.4-6.9, slow variations 6.3 to 6.8 with brightening in July/Aug
            to 5.4 (extreme magnitude) independently confirmed by three
            observers. (SRB, 5.9-6.7V, 120d, M5).
R Hya       5.5-7.2, maximum approx. Mar17, mag 5.5.
            (M 3.5-10.9V, 389d, M6 - M9)
RX Lep      6.0-6.3, 6.20s.d. 0.07. (SRB, 5.0-7.4V, 60d, M6)
SS Lep      4.5-5.2, 4.81 s.d. 0.20. (ZAND, 4.8-5.1V, A0+M1)
Y Lyn       6.8-8.5, Jan 6.9 to Mar 7.9 minimum (Jun, July), Aug 7.6 to
            Dec 8.2 (SRC, 6.9-8.0, 110d, M6)
SV Lyn      7.0-7.8, 7.40 s.d. 0.21. (SRB, 6.6-7.5, 70d?, M5)
U Mon       5.7-7.4, mean variations 5.9 at maximum, minI 6.5/6.6,
            minII 7.1/7.2. (RVB, 5.9-7.8, 91d, F8-K0)
X Oph       6.6-8.6, Jan 7.1 to minimum mid July at mag 8.5 and Nov 7.7
            (M 5.9 - 9.2V, 328d, M5-M9)
BQ Ori      7.3-8.7, monthly mean magnitudes 7.6 to 8.5, max, Apr 7.6,
            Nov 8.5. (SR, 6.9-8.9, 110d, M5-M8)
AG Peg      8.2-9.1, 8.50 s.d. 0.19 (NC, 6.0-9.4V, WN6+M3)
GO Peg      7.1-8.5, slow variations 7.84 s.d. 0.26. (LB, 7.1-7.8, M4)
X Per       6.0-6.6, 6.25 s.d. 0.13. (GCAS+XP, 6.0-7.0V, 09)
R Sct       5.1-8.5, see VSSC 88 for light curve. (RVA, 4.2-8.6, 146d)
Y Tau       6.9-8.2, 7.53 s.d. 0.35. (SRB, 6.5-9.2V, 242d)
W Tri       7.7-8.8, 8.10 s.d. 0.25, Oct 7.8 max. (SRC 7.5-8.8, 108d)
Z Uma       6.5-8.6, lightcurve shows 'spike' about Mar10 at mag 7.8
            (SRB 6.2-9.4V, 196d, M5)
ST Uma      6.6 to 7.3, mean magnitude 7.04 s.d. 0.17.
            (SRB, 6.0 - 7.6V, 110d?, M4 - M5).
VY Uma      5.9 - 6.9, 6.40 s.d. 0.20. (LB, 5.9 - 7.0V).
V Umi       7.8 - 8.6, Apr 8.4, maximum Oct 8.0. (SRB, 7.2 - 9.1, 72d)
SS Vir      8.4 - 9.4 observed from March to May, minimum end of April at
            mag 9.1. (SRA, 6.0 - 9.6, 364d)
SW Vir      6.5 - 8.1, Feb 7.9 brightening to 7.1, few estimates.
            (SRB, 6.4 - 7.9V, 150d?, M7)

The majority of these stars, with notable exceptions when at minimum, are observable in 50mm binoculars and small (60mm) telescopes; some like gamma Cas, mu Cep need the naked-eye. All charts for these are available from John Toone, the chart secretary, for a charge of 10p (or 30p for R Cr B and R Hya) and a large sae.


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