Home > Supernovae > Bright NOVA Delphini 2013 in Delphinus !

Bright NOVA Delphini 2013 in Delphinus !

This new nova was discovered by Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata, Japan) on August 14th  at a spectacularly bright magnitude 6.8 ! The nova appears to have brightened even more throughout today (15th) to a possible maximum magnitude of 5.7 – 5.5, which would make it naked eye visible and clearly visible in binoculars. As most novae rarely reach magnitudes greater than 12 this is a rare event. The nova is the bright star at the centre of the image below.

The spectrum of Nova Delphini 2013 suggests this is a classical nova ie. an interacting binary star system in which one star is a dense, hot white dwarf. Material from a cool, giant companion star falls onto the surface of the white dwarf, building up until it triggers a thermonuclear event. The drastic increase in brightness and an expanding shell of debris is the result. Classical novae do not result in an entirely destroyed star, but are instead believed to recur when the flow of material onto the white dwarf resumes and produces another outburst. The speed of material being ejected from this supernova has been calculated at around 1,500 miles per second. The progenitor star may have been around 17th magnitude prior to the outburst.

UPDATE 1 16th August – AAVSO observers are now reporting the magnitude of this nova at around 4.4 – 4.5 This will be readily visible to the naked eye although the moon is currently affecting visibility.

UPDATE 2 17th August 12.30am – Just had a look now and it is very easy to find with the naked eye even though there is low moonlight and cloud around. The constellation Sagitta neatly points the way to it. It looks about magnitude 4.8 to me visually when compared with the nearby star HIP 101867. This seems to match current AAVSO observations which show the nova has started to fade back from a peak 4.5 to mag 4.8

UPDATE 3 18th August – According to AAVSO observer reports the magnitude of the nova appears to have stabilized around mag 5.0 (updated chart below) for now. The peak magnitude of 4.3 was reached on the 16th 16.45 UT. A fast decline was predicted thereafter of about 1 magnitude per day, but this prediction has now been revised. The progenitor star appears to have been mag 16.9 before the outburst.

There are some useful finder charts here for visual observing http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/NOvaDel2013_map.jpg and here http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/NovaDel2013_map2.jpg

Image taken 15/8/13  11.43 pm local time on T18 (12.5″ Planewave CDK, KAF-6303E) at Nerpio, Spain. 1 x 60 secs Lum. Processed in Maxim DL5, Photoshop CS2. RA: 20h 23m 30.0s DEC: 20° 46′ 06″ (J2000)

Click image to enlarge:


AAVSO Light Curve:

Nova Del 2013 AAVSO 18-08-13

Categories: Supernovae
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