Rare outburst of DO Dra in 1996 Oct.

(vsnet-alert 567, G. Poyner)

Dear colleagues,

  DO Dra:

  Oct 15.7660     <14.3   Poyner   40cm
      16.7840      12.7   Poyner

Tonny Vanmunster has confirmed, and will post details of his observation on his CV Circular.

This one's for Margareta!

Gary Poyner

(from CVC 112, T. Vanmunster, )

DO Dra [UG, 10.0B - 15.1B]

Gary Poyner, Birmingham, UK reports his visual detection of an outburst of DO Dra, a most interesting object which is on the TA/BAAVSS Recurrent Objects Programme. Tonny Vanmunster, Landen, Belgium has confirmed the outburst by CCD. These are the available observations, obtained a few minutes ago :

1996 Oct 16.784 UT,  12.7  (G. Poyner, 0.40-m refl., seq: VSNET);
     Oct 16.787 UT,  12.0  (T. Vanmunster, 0.25-m SCT, unfilt. CCD,
                            seq: VSNET);

DO Dra was last seen in a bright outburst on September 27, 1990, when the object reached mag 9.1. Several minor brightenings have been reported since.

Tonny Vanmunster

Outburst CCD image

Light curve

VSNET chart

Some more about DO Dra (repost of 1996 Mar. 13 article)

DO Dra is recently reported (cf. vsnet-obs postings, VSNET home page) to be siginificantly brighter than its usual quiescence (esp. "low" state quiescence). As it has been already 5.5 years since its last major outburst (probably long overdue), the observers should keep a close eye on this dwarf nova to see whether the current enhanced quiescent activity may be a precursor of a major outburst or not.

Although this might be a well-known history ...

DO Dra was originally an optically identified X-ray source 3A1148+719, independently by Green et al. during their course of the famous Palomar- Green (PG) Survey of ultraviolet-excess objects, and by Patterson (1982). They soon (?) identified the X-ray source with a 15-16 mag star exhibiting a CV spectrum. However, the X-ray error box also contained an already designated eclipsing variable, YY Dra. Wenzel (1983) examined the Sonneberg plate collection for the period 1928-1982, and concluded there is no corresponding eclipsing variable designated in GCVS; indeed he found an apparent dwarf nova with recorded outbursts. Upon these, the optical counterpart was designated as a variable star, DO Dra, in the 67-th Name List of Variable Stars (1984), with a statement in its remark that the CV is not identical with YY Dra; this later caused a lot of confusion in nomenclature of the CV. Please read DO Dra = YY Dra when necessary.

   A summary of historical outbursts (Wenzel 1983, Hazen IBVS No. 2880):

   JD (2400000+)   mpg
         28262.7  <12.2
         28266.7   10.8:
         28267.7   11.1
         28273.7  <12.2

         31498.7  <14.5
         31499.7  <12.2
         31504.7   10.0:
         31505.8   10.8:
         31506.7   11.2
         31511.6  <12.2
         31519.9  <13.7

         33242.9   11.2
         33279.8  <14.4

         37761.4  <12.0
         37764.4   10.0
         37785.5  <12.0

         40153.4  <12.5
         40171.3   10.8
         40173.3   13.0
         40187.4  <13.8
         40188.7  <14.4

         42717.3  <13.5
         42740.3   10.5
         42750.4  <12.0
         42756.4  <13.0

         46364.3  <13.8  (IAUC 4130)
         46367.3   10.5      "
         46367.7   10.6      "

The variable has been extensively monitored by visual observers, yielding a successful detection of a new outburst in 1985 Oct. (the last one in the table). [I remember it was an exceptionally clear night in Japan, when I was observing Comet Halley -- and missed the outburst. To me the year of 1985 sounds like the most memorable -- chance detection of eclipses in IP Peg during an outburst, first encounter with Comet Halley, totally unexpected burst of Giacobinids..]

DO Dra is notable for its low outburst frequency and outburst duty cycle. In Sonneberg plate collections, DO Dra was detected on only four nights out of a total of 2175 nights. The outburst duty cycle of ~0.002 is the second smallest to that of WZ Sge (~0.001). Another characterstic of this dwarf nova can be found in its extreme shortness of the duration of outbursts, as already evident in the table above. [From the VSOLJ record for the period of 1984-1990, the object was observed in outburst on only three nights out of 912 nights and 1677 observations. At the meetings of variable star observers, sad stories of missed outbursts are often the topics among experienced observers.]

Taichi Kato

DO Dra main page

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