AAS 200th meeting, Albuquerque, NM, June 2002
Session 7. Variable Stars and Relatives
Display, Monday, June 3, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, SW Exhibit Hall

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[7.01] Photoelectric Photometry of the Bright Cepheid U Aql

C. L. Genet (Central Arizona College and Orion Institute)

In the fall of 2001 I participated in a unique astronomy course at the Superstition Mountain Campus of Central Arizona College. The course objectives were to help students learn about science and astronomy by participation in actual research. Observations were made with the Phoenix-10 automatic photoelectric telescope at the Fairborn Observatory. It was fascinating to take the data on U Aql, nothing but a lists of numbers, and turn these numbers into a light curve that told me something tangible about this particular cepheid. Our instructor, Russell Genet, arranged helpful conference calls to Michael Seeds, who manages the Phoenix-10, and Louis Boyd, who is the director of the Fairborn Observatory. We also spoke with Kenneth Kissell of Kissell Associates, who helped us pick the best observational possibilities, and Douglas Hall at Vanderbilt University, who helped us select suitable comparison and check stars. The data consisted of eighteen nightly UBV photoelectric measurements and contained heliocentric corrections, magnitudes given in thousandths, and comparison and check values that established the constancy of the comparison star. I calculated the phase for U Aql using the epoch and period suggested by Szabados at Konkoly Observatory. I then plotted a V light curve, as well as U-B and B-V color curves. My light and color curves were, unexpectedly, quite different from those of other students as my data clumped with two or three observations occurring nearly on top of each other. At first baffled by this, I soon realized that the period was so close to 24 hours that the available nighttime observations represented only half of the variation. It was an interesting, though frustrating result. I am continuing observations on this star and plan to contact Konkoly Observatory to see if any further observations are available elsewhere during what would be our daytime hours.

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The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: cgenet@msn.com

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34
© 2002. The American Astronomical Soceity.