Let’s play….. find the nova!

Nova Del 2013 peaked in brightness during the day yesterday (see the brightness reports at the http://www.aavso.org web site). Here’s the 1200GMT (morning Eastern USA time) chart…

AAVSO chart of Nova Del 2013 brightness

AAVSO chart of Nova Del 2013 brightness

Perhaps it’s not very impressive, but it’s a rare event where a star has blown off enough of it’s atmosphere to make it stand out a bit from all the ordinary stars in the Milky Way.
Some years ago, this would have been a sight for only a few astronomers who would get the message from the clearinghouse for events like this. Not because they didn’t want to tell anyone, but by the time the word got into the newspapers it might be all over by the time you looked – but with electronic cameras and the internet, even a humble blogger like me can show the Nova to you!

Here’s one of the photos I took last night…. can you find the Nova?

Stars near Nova Del 2013 (I rotated the photo to match the finder charts I was using!

Stars near Nova Del 2013 (I rotated the photo to match the finder charts I was using!


Ok, so I put a little oval to highlight the location – Nova Del is the brighter of the two stars in the oval. Hard to find without it. Click on the photo for the full size view, which makes it easier to see.
Here’s the finder chart, thanks to Sky and Telescope….Nova_in_Delphinus_PSA64-1
You’ll have to click on it to see it.

Use the chart and a pair of binoculars to find it for yourself. It’s easier if you find the star patterns I traced out in faint lines on the photo. Practice with the photo, then see if you can find the area tonight. Even if you miss the Nova, it’s a great place to scan with binoculars or a small telescope!

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