Nova Del 2013

The nova has brightened enough that one can see it plainly without any optical aid. Our telescopes here at the school are no longer able to image the star without their cameras getting overwhelmed. Here is a 30 second exposure with the robotic observatory’s 10″ RC:



The star also is a prime candidate for small telescope spectroscopy, so I opened our Echelle spectrograph last night and grabbed high resolution from 400-700nm. Here is the H-alpha range. That is a nova alright!

Nova H-a

Possible Nova in Delphinus

Some interesting astronomy events got a lot of people stirring last night. A potential nova has been discovered in the summer constellation Delphinus. The discovery goes to Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, using 0.18-m reflector + unfiltered CCD. When I went out last night to check it out, it was plainly visible as something new and unexpected at the end of Sagitta (the Arrow) and to the north of Delphinus. Here’s a finder for you taken with a D7000. It’s a pretty wide field which would be ok for binoculars. Note the positions of the Coat Hanger asterism and Delphinus. It’s an easy find!

Possible nova in Del

For a smaller field of view, you can go to the AAVSO website and make a plot of the area like this one which is on the 30′ scale for wide field CCDs like that in our Robotic Telescope at the Academy.

aavso finder for possible nova del

I was totally surprised to find the star getting brighter, so bright that in under an hour, I was unable to use a photometric filtered CCD to image it without maxing out the CCD. Oh well!   Enjoy everyone, and clear skies to you!