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Astronomers Looking for Help with Cataclysmic Variable Star

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<font color="yellow">Summary - (Aug 29, 2005) Amateur astronomers are helping unravel mysteries about about a strange binary star system. Even though space and ground-based observatories will be observing the cataclysmic variable star AE Aqr, astronomers are calling on amateurs to make additional observations as well. AE Aqr consists of a red dwarf feeding material to a white dwarf companion star. Instead of striking the white dwarf, this material is flung out of the system by the star's intense magnetic field. Amateurs are being asked to observe this object every night until September 3.<br /><br /><font color="white">Full Story - <br />GALEX , one of the telescopes that will study AE Aqr. Image credit: NASA <br />Amateur astronomers are being asked to help a constellation of observatories unravel the mysteries of a puzzling binary star system. <br /><br />On August 30-August 31, 2005 two space-based and four professional ground-based observatories are scheduled to observe the cataclysmic variable star AE Aqr. Each of the observatories covers a different wavelength of light and amateur astronomers have been asked to help cover the visible-light portion. <br /><br />"This observing campaign will take place over nearly a full day, and since no single ground-based observatory can observe AE Aqr for that long due to Earth's rotation, amateur astronomers can make a unique and invaluable contribution to this campaign," said Dr. Christopher Mauche of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the principal investigator of the project. <br /><br />Because they are spaced all across the globe, amateur astronomers can observe this star and other celestial objects unhindered by nightfall or weather. <br /><br />The Chandra and GALEX space telescopes will be working with the HESS, MAGIC, VLT, and VLA ground-based telescopes. Combined, they will provide coverage of AE Aqr from high-energy gamma-rays to low-energy radio waves. Such simultaneous multiwavelength coverage is required to provide the</font></font>
 
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