Observations of OJ287 are required from now until at least the end of 2007 to define the entire maximum in the case that a double outburst is observed, as in 1983/84 and 1994/95.
The aims of the project are:
It should be remembered that in 1994 the rise to maximum (about 2.5 magnitudes increase in brightness) took more than a year!
OJ287 is highly variable on all time scales from a few minutes to years, so it is useful to take several (or even many) observations in a single night. However, it is more important to cover as many nights as possible.
OJ287 often shows flares, brightening up to one magnitude in a few nights and then fading again, so enough data is required to identify these in the light curve. A typical flare lasts around 10 days from start to finish.
Observations can be visual (using the star sequence for V), or unfiltered CCD (reducing the photometry as R magnitudes), although filtered CCD (V or R filter) is preferred. If it is not possible, unfiltered CCD is acceptable. It is important to specify the system of measure when reporting data.
CCD data should be reported to 2 places of decimals (i.e. R=14.53, rather than R=14.5).