Dip update 130/n
[Orig: Jan 12, 2018]
I must say that the events that unfolded in 2017 turned out to be some of the most exciting in my career, and out of all the things I could possibly say right now, all I can come with is - WE DID IT, YAHOO!!
As you might have guessed, the work isn't over yet. Currently, we are in a "down-time" for LCO observations, as the star is not visible from most locations here on Earth until ~March. During this down time we are working on finalizing the massive amounts of data taken during the Elsie family of dips, and writing up the analysis for publication. We will keep you informed when milestones are reached on these works in progress.
On the monitoring side of things, just like this time last year, we aren't completely without an eye on the star. There are a few dedicated AAVSO observers at very northern latitudes, and their progress can be checked here: https://www.aavso.org/LCGv2/ [in "star name" put "KIC 8462852". You can also refine your selection to recent observations by entering "50" in the "Plot previous" and checking the box to the right of it labeled "days".] We also have observations coming in from the Swift satellite every ~3 days. Here is a graph showing that data from May 2017 until now:
Swift observes in several filters, which are depicted in the legend. The typical measurement error is shown on the first point (left most) in the time series. Michael Siegel, the Swift project scientist who manages this program for us, says that the u-band curve (orange) is the most reliable. It is important to note however, the errors on these measurements are much larger (~2%) than what you are accustomed to seeing with the LCO data, and therefore we will only be able to detect dips deeper than a few percent. These are known to happen, so perhaps we will get lucky!
Happy new year to you all!
~Tabby and team
PS: These observations are happening because of the wonderful backers of our 2016 Kickstarter project. The Kickstarter campaign has ended, but we are still accepting donations to purchase additional observing time on the LCO 0.4m network. Thanks in advance for your support!
PPS: A bit of humor for you. My colleague Dr Arlo Landolt suggested we call the up-blip "Wat" because, well, it kinda looks like the Angkor temple does it not? Another unintended pun: "Wat" in English is also almost identical sounding to the word "what", which is somewhat of an appropriate expression in this case!