AAVSO Special Notice #198


Possible Outburst of GK Per

March 8, 2010


Special Notice #198

March 9, 2010


The old nova (1901) and x-ray source GK Per may be going into

outburst. Reports beginning late on 2010 March 6 UT show it

brightening from its minimum visual magnitude of about 13.1

to 12.3-12.4.


When GK Per went nova in 1901, its disk was destroyed.

Eventually the disk was re-established, and dwarf nova-like

outbursts were observed. After many years of quite similar-

looking outbursts about 1100-1300 days apart, rising to about

visual magnitude 10.1 in 24-30 days, and lasting 53-73 days,

the last two outbursts were very different, with the September

2004 outburst coming only 940 days after the preceding

outburst, taking over 60 days to rise to a maximum of 10.6,

and lasting about 100 days, and the December 2006 outburst

coming about 810 days later, rising only to magnitude 11.5

with oscillations to 12.2 before returning to minimum about

100 days after outburst. The current probable outburst is

occurring about 1180 days after the last outburst, so it may

show more typical outburst behavior, or it may do something

completely unexpected. Close monitoring is extremely



Our assistance has been requested by Dr. Phil Evans,

University of Leicester, England, who is observing GK Per

with the Swift satellite and has requested Target of

Opportunity (ToO) time on RXTE. Dr. Evans writes:


"I have an approved Swift ToO which will observe it 3 times

a day for the next 4 days (looking for the change in X-ray

characteristics) and then for 6 ks twice a week thereafter.

It chose a bad time of year to go off so will be too close

to the Sun for Swift from early April. I've also put in a

ToO request with RXTE and we'll see what happens.


"The AAVSO archive on this object is stupendous and anything

your observers can do to make it even better will of course

be gladly received by the whole CV community."


Visual and CCD observers are urged to monitor GK Per closely

and submit observations to the AAVSO International Database.


Recent observations of GK Per reported to the AAVSO

International Database include:


MAR 01.8600 UT, 13.0, G. Poyner, Birmingham, England;

04.8050, 13.0, P. Schmeer, Bischmisheim, Germany;

04.8167  13.1, G. Hurst, Basingstoke, England, via baavss-alert;

04.8420, 13.1, Poyner;

04.9170, 13.03 V, E. van Ballegoij, Heesch, Netherlands;

05.0139, 13.0, M.Komorous, London, Ontario, Canada;

05.8410, 12.9, C. Allen, Farjestaden, Sweden;

06.0896, 12.8, J. Bortle, Stormville, NY;

06.7986, 12.9, Allen;

06.8010, 12.7, Schmeer;

06.8243  12.7, Hurst);

06.8698, 12.34 V, van Ballegoij;

06.8740, 13.0, Poyner;

07.0299, 12.6, Bortle;

07.0507, 12.6, G. Chaple, Townsend, MA;

07.7708, 12.4, K. Pukero, Tavastila, Finland;

07.7950, 12.4, Schmeer;

07.8390, 12.3, Poyner;

08.0201, 12.5, Komorous;

08.0264, 12.4, Bortle;

08.0292, 12.5, Chaple;


Coordinates: R.A. 03:31:12.01 Dec. +43:54:15.4 (2000.0) 


Charts for GK Per may be obtained from the following URL:



Observations should be reported as GK PER.


An AAVSO Observing Campaign on GK Per is being created by Dr.

Matthew Templeton.


Good observing!


Elizabeth O. Waagen, Senior Technical Assistant





Information on submitting observations to the AAVSO may be found at:





A Special Notice archive is available at the following URL:



Subscribing and Unsubscribing may be done at the following URL:



BAAVSS data for GK Per - Jan 2000 to Dec 2009   Click here for a BAAVSS chart.


Time series CCD data from Ian Miller (MIW) and Jeremy Shears (SFY)  March 8, 2010



V-band time series.  March 11th 18h 58m UT to 22h 11m UT.  Roger Pickard.


V-band plot.  R. Pickard