Sep 11, 2017 UT: Test observations of Nova Sct 2017 = ASASSN-17hx

Michael Richmond
Sep 11, 2017

On the night of Sep 10/11, 2017, Jen Connelly, capstone student Victor Rau-Sirois, and SPEX member Drew Walters, and I, used the RIT Observatory telescope and cameras to acquire a small dataset. We chose as a target ASASSN-17hx, also known as Nova Sct 2017. This was more of a training mission than a real scientific run, though.

The main setup was:

Notes from the night

A series of dark images (1 sec, 3 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec) shows the same puzzling change in counts vs. exptime that I noted last year; see

The values tonight, at temperature T = -15 C, were

   1 sec        333 counts
   3            372
  10            369
  30            371

We made sure to acquire dark frames with the same exposure time as a our target frames.

We weren't guiding. Over the course of about 40 minutes, as we took a series of short exposures of ASASSN-17hx, the stars drifted quite a bit in both RA and Dec. Note the very steady drift in Dec.

The sense of the drift was that

   a)  stars moved to larger column numbers = west, so the telescope
            was drifting East
   b)  stars moved to larger row numbers = south, so the telescope
            was drifting North

The telescope was pointing to the south-western quadrant of the sky during this period.

ASASSN-17hx = Nova Sct 2017

Here's a chart of the field of this variable star, which is at

      RA = 18:31:45.9      Dec = -14:18:55.6   (J2000)

The chart is about 16x10 arcminutes.

Among the labelled stars is

  A       UCAC4 379-113757       V = 9.739  

Last modified 9/11/2017 by MWR.