The Project


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:


  1. To detect whether or not there is an outburst in 2006.
  2. In the case that there is an outburst, to measure the date of maximum as accurately as possible.
  3. To compare the light curve with the light curve of the 1994/95 outburst.


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).