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IAUC 3995: Poss. N IN Sgr; EDITORIAL NOTICE; 1984o

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                                                  Circular No. 3995
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Postal Address: Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
TWX 710-320-6842 ASTROGRAM CAM    Telephone 617-495-7244/7440/7444

     On Sept. 26 W. Liller, Vina del Mar, Chile, reported his
discovery of a possible nova.  The object was located at R.A. =
17h50m31s4, Decl. = -29deg01'30" (equinox 1950.0; uncertainty +/- 5" ),
~ 80" south of SAO 185906.  His magnitude estimates were: Sept.
25.02 UT, mv = 11.0; 25.99, 10.5.  Requests for confirmation were
sent to several observatories at that time, but there has as yet
been neither positive nor negative response.  A subsequent observation
by the discoverer suggests that the object was a moderately
fast nova: Sept. 29.0, mv = 11.2.

     The above item, as well as the last item on the previous
Circular, illustrate the continuing failure of optical astronomers to
respond satisfactorily to transient astronomical discoveries.
Tremendous interest is shown by astronomers working at radio,
infrared, ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths, but their work is heavily
dependent on the initial activity of optical (or in some cases
infrared) astronomers.  In the case of a possible nova or supernova,
the immediate need is for astrometry and spectroscopy, the
former to pinpoint the position for non-optical astronomers, the
latter to establish in broad terms the nature of the object.  In
the case of a comet or minor planet, the need is for astrometry and
more astrometry, continuing during the whole time that the object
is observable.  Indications are now that the possible supernova in
NGC 7184 was not identical with the foreground star mentioned on
IAUC 3994; there are rumors that spectroscopic observations of the
possible supernova do exist, but there are conflicting impressions
of the outcome of those observations.  The Bureau is very much in
need of assistance from astronomers who can quickly (i.e., by telex
or through our computer service) produce satisfactory astrometry
and/or spectroscopy; all astrometry and crucial spectroscopy
are exempt from line charges.  Photometry, whether accurate
photoelectric measurements or crude eye estimates, may be of interest,
but it is of rather limited value in verifying a new discovery.

     Total visual magnitude estimates by C. S. Morris, near
Tujunga, CA (0.25-m reflector): Sept. 23.17 UT, 11.4; 27.13, 11.3.

1984 October 1                 (3995)              Brian G. Marsden

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