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New Luminous Outbursts of Supernova Impostor SN 2009ip

ATel #2897; A. J. Drake, (Caltech), J. L. Prieto (Carnegie Obs), S. G. Djorgovski, A. A. Mahabal, M. J. Graham, R. Williams (Caltech); R. H. McNaught (ANU); M. Catelan (PUC); E. Christensen (Gemini Observatory); E. C. Beshore, S. M. Larson (LPL/UA); S. Howerton
on 1 Oct 2010; 19:20 UT
Credential Certification: Andrew J. Drake (ajd@cacr.caltech.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Supernovae, Transient, Variables

Referred to by ATel #: 4334, 4479

We report two recent outbursts of the LBV (Supernova Impostor) known as SN 2009ip.
This object was first discovered as a candidate supernova by Maza et al. (2009; CBET#1928) and was subsequently identified by Miller et al. (2009, ATEL#2183) as either a CV or LBV based on historical DeepSky images taken in July 2005. Berger et al. (2009, ATEL#2184) spectroscopically confirmed the object to be an LBV. Further information about this object, including an additional outburst during July 2007, was reported by Li et al. (2009, ATEL#2212), Smith et al. (2010, AJ, 139, 1451) and Foley et al. (2010, arxiv:1002.0635).

During CRTS survey monitoring of Siding Spring Survey (SSS) data for NGC 7259, we discovered SN 2009ip to be in outburst on July 15th 2010 (M_V ~-14), faded in observations from 11 Sept. 2010, and again in outburst on 29 Sept. 2010. Historical SSS photometry shows past outbursts on August 1st 2009, and September 23rd 2009 with periods of fading in agreement with Smith et al. (2010). The full SSS lightcurve spanning five years of monitoring for this LBV appears to indicate an increasing level of activity.

The multiple luminous outbursts that the massive LBV SN 2009ip has experienced in the last year might indicate periods of unstable mass-loss similar to the LBV SN 2000ch (Pastorello et al. 2010, MNRAS, http://arxiv.org/abs/1006.0504 ) and those seen preceding core-collapse of SN 2006jc (Itagaki et al. 2006, IAUC# 8762 ; Foley et al. 2007, ApJ, 657, 105). We request additional ongoing open monitoring of this object so that the astronomical community may rapidly respond to changes that could indicate the imminent explosion of SN 2009ip.