Nova Delphini 2013

Shortly after the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower, in the constellation Delphinus, not far from Sagitta, a naked-eye nova appeared. While not overly bright (it only got to maybe +4.2 mv?), it was bright enough to be seen with the naked eye (which is fairly rare, all things considered), and readily visible in binoculars. However, it is also set against the backdrop of the edge of the Milky Way, so easily lost amongst all the other stars. On the night of August 16th I set up my DSLR camera mounted with an 80-400mm lens, and despite the light of gibbous moon, managed to locate Sagitta quite readily. Knowing that the nova was approximately one Sagitta length away, and in the general direction that Sagitta is pointing, I repositioned the camera to aim at that spot, keeping Gamma Sagittae in the field of view, and snapped some images.

The attached document shows finder charts for the nova as well as one of the images I shot. As you page through the document, the nova will be identified, as will some of the surrounding stars, which can be then cross-checked against the finder charts.

Enjoy this little view of celestial history. While the star is beginning to fade once again, it should still be in easy binocular reach for another month, and should be picked up in long-duration exposures taken with camera fairly readily.

Nova Delphini 2013

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