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IAUC 5915: 1993aj; GX 339-4; P/SCHWASSMANN-WACHMANN 1

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                                                  Circular No. 5915
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Postal Address: Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Telephone 617-495-7244/7440/7444 (for emergency use only)
TWX 710-320-6842 ASTROGRAM CAM     EASYLINK 62794505

     Christian Pollas, Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, reports his
discovery of an apparent supernova (V = 18.5) located at R.A. =
12h01m47s.38, Decl. = -0 26'31".9 (equinox 1950.0), which is 3".6
west and 3".9 south of the host spiral galaxy (V about 17).  The
object was found on two Technical Pan films (limiting mag about
20.5) taken 1993 Dec. 27.23 and 28.24 UT.  The object is only 1 mm
from the side of the field.  Nothing is visible on the POSS prints
down to mag 19.5-20.  A nearby star of mag about 16 is located at
R.A. = 12h01m42s.90, Decl. = -0 24'53".9.
     M. Hamuy, Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory, reports
confirmation by J. Storm (European Southern Observatory) of the
presence of a new stellar object 4".2 west and 4".2 south of the
galaxy's center, as observed in B, V, and I images obtained on 1993
Dec. 29.333 UT with the CTIO 0.9-m telescope.

GX 339-4
     B. A. Harmon, W. S. Paciesas, S. N. Zhang, G. J. Fishman, and
M. H. Finger, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA, report for the
Compton Observatory's Burst and Transient Source Experiment (BATSE)
Team:  ''The black-hole candidate GX 339-4 has again entered its
hard (low) emission state, being detected by earth occultation
beginning in late December 1993.  Its intensity has increased
gradually and is currently at about 0.2 Crab (Dec. 30-1994 Jan. 1) in
the band 20-100 keV with a hard spectrum.  Outbursts of GX 339-4
beginning in late June 1991 (IAUC 5327) and early September 1992
(IAUC 5647), and now in December 1993, indicate an interval between
hard x-ray outbursts of about 440 +/- 30 days.  This is a strong
indication of long-term periodicity in this suspected-but-unproven
binary system.  If the periodicity is associated with the binary
orbit, GX 339-4 does not fit conveniently into the canonical model
of a low-mass, x-ray binary."

     Further total magnitude estimates (cf. IAUC 5886):  1993 Dec.
4.85 UT, 13.2 (H. Mikuz, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 0.20-m Baker-Schmidt
camera + CCD + V filter); 17.98, 14.3 (Mikuz); 24.51, 15.7 (T.
Kojima, YGCO Chiyoda Observatory, Japan, 0.25-m reflector + CCD);
29.56, 15.9 (Kojima); 1994 Jan. 2.61, 13.2 (Kojima; comet almost

1994 January 3                 (5915)            Daniel W. E. Green

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