2018 data update (40/n)
[Orig: November 30, 2018]
Today I have a few items to share with y'all.
The first is the usual update on the most recent data we have on the star. Just like the last few months, we are not able to detect any significant activity, and the brightness levels remain a bit elevated compared to the pre-Elsie brightness back in 2017 May. Looking ahead, the star is becoming less and less available to us Earthlings as the year progresses. This is simply due to where the Earth is in its orbit around the Sun. In another month or so we will lose sight of the star for a few months. Like previous years, we will monitor it during this time with the Swift space telescope. We propose to observe at a ~3 day cadence, which will be able to detect any large, long lasting event.
The second item I wanted to share is a super cool (maybe a bit crazy) idea we had involving the community on the research we do. This idea was inspired by discussions in the star's sub-reddit over the past few years, where the topics have covered practically everything but astronomical image analysis. Then I asked myself, why stop there?! So I submitted a proposal to be a partner in the Las Cumbres Education Program - and it was accepted! [See here, and the links within, for details.]
What this means is that over the next year we will have access to the Las Cumbres 0.4m telescope network to monitor the star on a ~weekly cadence. Data taken with this program (as well as all other LCO Ed programs) are available to the public immediately. Our group will be 'united' through reddit, where we will provide support and share our results and experiences collecting and analyzing photometric data with other members. We are still setting things up on the social media side, so check back soon if you are interested in being involved. Our program is open to *anyone*, you just have to have access to a computer and the internet. This will be fun!!
All the best,
~Tabby and team
Note from previous post that still applies: The gray vertical line indicates the time of the change in configuration. There are still some remaining issues that we need to address for data taken primarily during the first week of June (where you see a gap in data) and hopefully we will be able to update this soon with those measurements. Also, all data taken after this time have an unknown vertical offset. As such, these measurements are set to be consistent with the flux at the end of May until we can better assess what, if anything, had changed during the gap.
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!