2019 data update (2/n)
[Orig: March 21, 2019]
It is that time of year when the star is now visible to observe once again. Nothing exciting to report over the past couple weeks, as you can see from this graph showing observations back though Elsie up to now:
On a side note: you may notice that the error bars on our observations are larger than back in 2017. This is because we are not taking as many observations during a 24 hour period compared to 2017 when the star was dipping, and the larger the number of observations we have in a daily average will make the error bar smaller.
One exciting bit of news to share is that the TESS satellite will be pointed at our star for a couple months this summer (2019-Jul-18 to 2019-Sep-11). The TESS mission is somewhat similar to Kepler in that it is taking brightness measurements of stars in order to search for transiting planets. This is exciting because it will provide us a nearly uninterrupted stream of data during this time. Also, our team put in a TESS proposal for 2 minute cadence observations (as opposed to default of 30 minute cadence observations), and if the proposal is accepted we will be able to search for pulsations as well as any general rapid variability. These TESS data will fill in a gap of knowledge unobtainable from ground based observations. That is not to say that we will cease observations from the ground during this time - actually, quite the opposite! Our ground based monitoring program is the only way to get color information from the dips (which tell us about the composition). Ground based monitoring is also the only way to inform us in near real time is a dip is taking place so we may trigger more sensitive observations of the event (TESS data are only downlinked to Earth about every month, so we wouldn't know of an event until long after it occurred).
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!