Bright Nova in Delphinus
August 20, 2013
Photographer: Kosmas Gazeas
Summary Author: Kosmas Gazeas
The image at bottom features the newly discovered very bright nova in Delphinus -- star PNV J20233073+2046041. Novas are the rapid brightening of stars that typically result when a star explodes (eruption). Nova Delphini 2013 had a 6.5 magnitude when it was first observed on August 14 by amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki. When the bottom image was acquired two days later with the robotic telescope at the University of Athens Observatory in Athens, Greece, the nova had a 4.5 magnitude and appeared to be getting brighter every day. As of August 18, it was easily visible with the unaided eye. Naked-eye novas appear about once or twice per decade. The top image from the ESO digital sky survey (DDS) is used to show the same region of Delphinus before the star exploded. Click here to see where to look for Nova Delphini 2013.
Photo details: Bottom - DFM 0.4 m f/8 telescope; f/6.3 focal reducer; ST10XME CCD camera with IR filter (Bessell specifications); 20 exposures of 30 seconds each (10 minutes total exposure); Image processing was done with MaxIm DL, AIP4WIN, Adobe Photoshop CS2; Top reference image (before nova) extracted from ESO Digital Sky Survey (DSS) - cropped in same format as nova image.