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Bright nova (mag. 6.4) in Hercules


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2 minutes ago, Stu said:

Just got it, a lot dimmer tonight. Not easy to judge accurately but I reckon it’s about the same as nearby HD175919 at mag 8.6

Just waiting for it to clear the conifers here. Hope it does not dim further in the meantime !

 

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Certainly looks like a fast fade, maybe a shade brighter than hd175919 that is listed as m8.5, certainly noticeably fainter than hd176441 m7.1. Hope this one has additional brightenings…

Peter

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11 minutes ago, Captain Magenta said:

Amazingly different from last night. Barely detectable with my 15x56 bins. Whereas last night it was in a par with the 3-star asterism to the North. 

It is isn’t it! I couldn’t see it in my 8x42 binos, and was using the Telementor tonight which showed it quite easily.

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1 minute ago, PeterW said:

Certainly looks like a fast fade, maybe a shade brighter than hd175919 that is listed as m8.5, certainly noticeably fainter than hd176441 m7.1. Hope this one has additional brightenings…

Peter

SkySafari lists HD175919 at mag 8.6, so I’ll go with whatever the accurate mag is for that, they seemed the same as far as I could tell. Quite a dramatic dimming compared with the Nova in Cass.

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48 minutes ago, John said:

Just waiting for it to clear the conifers here. Hope it does not dim further in the meantime !

 

Spreading cloud cover now here :rolleyes2:

 

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On 13/06/2021 at 01:52, rl said:

Heard about this nova on this thread early this evening after a long, long day. Was in two minds whether to get the kit out or not...in the end  I made the effort. 

I managed to get some spectra subs taken on my 8" Newt with an Elliott Instruments CCDSPEC. I've had the thing for years..this will be the first time it's been used in anger. nova_aquilae_2021_ccdspec_10min.JPG.4c06774a31e6bf04402247ab5dd62f83.JPG

One raw sub shown below; hope I got the right star on the slit!

nova_aquilae_2021_ccdspec_10min_plot.JPG.15d67961b74e4641bbee149d88f6ec2b.JPG

I got about 60 min of data in total; Hopefully there might be enough to drag a few lines out of the noise and work out the expansion velocity once I've got the spectrometer calibrated in the morning. 

 

I'd like to see the output of that, I did something similar in the morning of the 13th. I'll post it up here. 

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8 hours ago, Captain Magenta said:

Amazingly different from last night. Barely detectable with my 15x56 bins. Whereas last night it was in a par with the 3-star asterism to the North. 

I struggled with my 16x80 bins (against a rather bright night sky here in the North of the Netherlands). Curiously, the nova showed up easily in my 80 mm F/6 triplet with 31 mm Nagler (so 15.5x). Even though the Helios LightQuest 16x80s are pretty good, the APM triplet concentrates the light of stars into far smaller points, making fainter stars much easier to spot.

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this is a very fast nova indeed. Novae classed as Fast typically take less than 25 days to fade 2 mags. But a few very fast novae have been observed to decay 2 mags in 2 to 3 days. Interestingly, on average, our galaxy seems to have more very fast novae than M31.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more from this nova. I see amateur spectroscopists have noted a large change in the spectrum last night compared with the night before. It’s being discussed on the BAA Forum here: https://britastro.org/node/26009

 

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5 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

this is a very fast nova indeed. Novae classed as Fast typically take less than 25 days to fade 2 mags. But a few very fast novae have been observed to decay 2 mags in 2 to 3 days. Interestingly, on average, our galaxy seems to have more very fast novae than M31.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more from this nova. I see amateur spectroscopists have noted a large change in the spectrum last night compared with the night before. It’s being discussed on the BAA Forum here: https://britastro.org/node/26009

 

I see the mag estimates there are about a magnitude higher than I put it at. I did find it hard to estimate, but didn’t think I was so far out in comparison with HD175919. Must try harder 😉

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9 minutes ago, Stu said:

I see the mag estimates there are about a magnitude higher than I put it at. I did find it hard to estimate, but didn’t think I was so far out in comparison with HD175919. Must try harder 😉

One of the most experienced BAA observers had it at mag 8.4 last night. So that’s not very different from your estimate, Stu, especially considering conditions (bright sky).

You ought to take up this variable star lark and contribute your observations 😊

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5 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

One of the most experienced BAA observers had it at mag 8.4 last night. So that’s not very different from your estimate, Stu, especially considering conditions (bright sky).

You ought to take up this variable star lark and contribute your observations 😊

Thanks Jeremy.

How does one do that?

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It has diminished in brightness, indeed. 

Took another pass last night and there is definately a difference when compared to the reference stars around it. 

Light_SN2021xx_300.0s_Bin1_H_gain90_20210614-015720_0001.thumb.jpg.f9557b289d428c25b282c43f1910fc38.jpg

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5 minutes ago, JeremyS said:

One of the most experienced BAA observers had it at mag 8.4 last night. So that’s not very different from your estimate, Stu, especially considering conditions (bright sky).

You ought to take up this variable star lark and contribute your observations 😊

I put it at 8.5 or a shade brighter, certainly much closer to the mag 8.5 reference star in the AAVSO chart than to the mag 7.1 star. I did quite a bit of variable star observing as a teenager, but stopped when I started studying astronomy (mainly through lack of a telescope in my own place), so I may have become a bit rusty. Having said that, I do not think I am a full magnitude off.

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I've just got around to finding out the IDs of the stars in the field: I'd made a note of what it seemed to be its match in brightness. Through my 8" and Nag 31, it seemed the same as HD 175919, which is mag 8.54 according to SIMBAD. This would've been around 0130 0100 this morning, 14th June.

Quite fascinated to have witnessed something unusual.

Cheers, Magnus

Edited by Captain Magenta
corrected the time from 0130 to 0100
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1 hour ago, Stu said:

Thanks Jeremy.

How does one do that?

Hello Stu. If you would like to add your data to the BAA Variable Star Section database, visit the database webpage here. Click the button "Request a login" and this will send an email to our database manager, Andy Wilson. Tell him that you want to upload your data from the Nova Her and Nova Cas (and hopefully other VS in future). He will give you an observer code and tell you how to logon. You can then upload your obs. If it's just a few, you can enter each one via the web interface quite quickly. If you have loads, you can upload from a spreadsheet (in a specific format).

To access the data and plot the light curves (as I have been doing regularly for Nova Cas), you don't need a login - anyone can do that.

One thing that you will need to use, though, is a standard sequence, i.e. a chart with standard comparison stars. You will be asked when you enter your obs which comparison and which sequence you used. You can use the AAVSO charts that I linked to at the beginning of this chain - each chart has a reference number. The reason is that it's important that everyone uses comparisons with defined standard mags to avoid random variations. E.g. very red comparisons are avoided.

Hope this helps. If you need further help, don't hesitate to contact me.

 

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That was interestingly quick,
on the first night ( of Jeremy's well timed alert  ) it was in plain sight in a 2 sec exposure at iso6400 f2.8 50mm lens.
Last night I had to stack 20 to get it to show !

I have a theory that it wasnt a nova,
it was ET shining a torch, " Anyone home ! "
He couldn't find any sign of intelligent life so he moved on :) 
 

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18 hours ago, Stu said:

Just got it, a lot dimmer tonight. Not easy to judge accurately but I reckon it’s about the same as nearby HD175919 at mag 8.6

Glad to see from everyone's comments that it got a lot dimmer!

I missed the original post (I was out with my new Zenithstar 73 for first light as well!) but was out again last night/this morning. Around 0200 I was manually searching very low power (only figured out later that night how to enter manual coords with my AZ-GTi!) and was looking for something very bright. In the end I did find it without shadow of a doubt using the images and star charts on this thread, but it was way dimmer than Stu's iPhone image and the other reports so I spent a while not trusting my own judgement!

Glad to have got it and to witness something so unusual. Thanks everyone for the great instructions and images. 

Edited by badhex
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Just too hazy here, unfortunately. Only the brightest constellation stars are showing through. Shame - it's been a lovely day otherwise :rolleyes2:

 

Edited by John
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