Photometry of BE Octantis from Cerro Tololo on 16-18 August reveals that this star is in superoutburst. Preliminary measurements on 16 August found the star to be at V = 15.94 (the GCVS lists 15.4 as the known maximum). This very poorly studied star, thought to be of the SU-UMa variety, is exhibiting superhump phenomena. Time series on 17-18 August covering 13.5 hr over a 27.5 hr span reveal 0.23 mag superhumps at a period of 111.05 +/- 0.19 min.
As our CTIO observing run comes to a close soon, our BE Oct vigil will be prematurely ended. We welcome anyone to join our unprecedented campaign on this introverted little star. Amateurs in the Southern Hemisphere with reasonably-sized telescopes and CCDs should be able to help contribute to the cause. Discovery of recurrence periods for both normal and super maxima would be of significant interest.
UT Date V mag UT Date avg "blue" mag August 16.403 15.94 August 17 16.00 August 17.271 15.86 August 18 16.08 August 18.031 15.97 August 18.416 16.00 BE Oct (from Downes and Shara, 1993 February, PASP, 105, 127) 00 00 49.13 (2000) -77 18 57.6 (including finding chart)
Jonathan Kemp and Joe Patterson
Center for Backyard Astrophysics (CBA) and Columbia University
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