Update on the Bright Nova Delphini 2013; Plus a Gallery of Images from our Readers

by Nancy Atkinson on August 16, 2013

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 The bright new Nova Delphini 2013, as seen from Puerto Rico on August 16th, 03:13ut Credit: Efrain Morales/Jaicoa Observatory.


The bright new Nova Delphini 2013, as seen from Puerto Rico on August 16th, 03:13ut Credit: Efrain Morales/Jaicoa Observatory.

Since showing itself on August 14, 2013, a bright nova in the constellation Delphinus — now officially named Nova Delphini 2013 — has brightened even more. As of this writing, the nova is at magnitude 4.4 to 4.5, meaning that for the first time in years, there is a nova visible to the naked eye — if you have a dark enough sky. Even better, use binoculars or a telescope to see this “new star” in the sky.

The nova was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagak. When first spotted, it was at about magnitude 6, but has since brightened. Here’s the light curve of the nova from the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) and they’ve also provided a binocular sequence chart, too.

How and where to see the new nova? Below is a great graphic showing exactly where to look in the sky. Additionally, we’ve got some great shots from Universe Today readers around the world who have managed to capture stunning shots of Nova Delpini 2013. You can see more graphics and more about the discovery of the nova on our original ‘breaking news’ article by Bob King.

The new nova is located in Delphinus alongside the familiar Summer Triangle outlined by Deneb, Vega and Altair. This map shows the sky looking high in the south for mid-northern latitudes around 10 p.m. local time in mid-August. The new object is ideally placed for viewing. Stellarium

The new nova is located in Delphinus alongside the familiar Summer Triangle outlined by Deneb, Vega and Altair. This map shows the sky looking high in the south for mid-northern latitudes around 10 p.m. local time in mid-August. The new object is ideally placed for viewing. Stellarium

If you aren’t able to see the nova for yourself, there are a few online observing options:

The Virtual Star Party team, led by UT’s publisher Fraser Cain, will try to get a view during the next VSP, at Sunday night on Google+ — usually at this time of year, about 10 pm EDT/0200 UTC on Monday mornings. If you’d like a notification for when it’s happening, make sure you subscribe to the Universe Today channel on YouTube.

The Virtual Telescope Project, based in Italy, will have an online observing session on August 19, 2013 at 20:00 UTC, and you can join astronomer Gianluca Masi at this link.

The Slooh online telescope had an observing session yesterday (which you can see here), and we’ll post an update if they plan any additional viewing sessions.

There’s no way to predict if the nova will remain bright for a few days more, and unfortunately the Moon is getting brighter and bigger in the sky (it will be full on August 20), so take the opportunity this weekend if you can to try and see the new nova.

Now, enjoy more images from Universe Today readers:

Nova Delphini 2013 from August 16, 2013 at 0846 UTC. Credit and copyright: Nick Rose.

Nova Delphini 2013 from August 16, 2013 at 0846 UTC. Credit and copyright: Nick Rose.

The bright nova in Delphinus when it was at magnitude 6.1 on August 14, 2013, as see from Yellow Springs, Ohio USA. Credit and copyright: John Chumack/Galactic Images.

The bright nova in Delphinus when it was at magnitude 6.1 on August 14, 2013, as see from Yellow Springs, Ohio USA. Credit and copyright: John Chumack/Galactic Images.

Proving that Nova Delphini 2013 is now a bright, naked-eye object, this fun image shows not only the nova, but the surrounding landscape in Sweden of the photographer, too. Credit and copyright: Göran Strand.

Proving that Nova Delphini 2013 is now a bright, naked-eye object, this fun image shows not only the nova, but the surrounding landscape in Sweden of the photographer, too. Credit and copyright: Göran Strand.

Nova Delphinii 2013 as seen on August 15, 2013. Credit and copyright: Andre van der Hoeven

Nova Delphinii 2013 as seen on August 15, 2013. Credit and copyright: Andre van der Hoeven

Nova in Delphinus from Ottawa, Canada on August 14, 2013. 13 second exposure under heavy light pollution with Nikon D80. Credit and copyright: Andrew Symes

Nova in Delphinus from Ottawa, Canada on August 14, 2013. 13 second exposure under heavy light pollution with Nikon D80. Credit and copyright: Andrew Symes

Image of Nova Delphini 2013, on 15 Aug. 2013, via the Virtual Telescope Project/Gianluca Masi.

Image of Nova Delphini 2013, on 15 Aug. 2013, via the Virtual Telescope Project/Gianluca Masi.

Annotated image of Nova Delphini 2013, as seen from Hawaii. Credit and copyright: Bryanstew on Flickr.

Annotated image of Nova Delphini 2013, as seen from Hawaii. Credit and copyright: Bryanstew on Flickr.

Ralf Vandebergh shared this video he was able to capture on his 10-year-old hand-held video camera to “demonstration of the brightness of the nova and what is possible with even 10 year old technique from hand.”

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

ITCanWork August 16, 2013 at 6:30 PM

amazing

Aqua4U August 17, 2013 at 12:59 AM

Saw Bill’s earlier comment yesterday and went out to see… clouds. Will try again tonight!

Ryan_Dyne August 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM

If there are any non-astronomers among your readership, the appropriate thing would have been to lead off with a photo showing what the nova looks like naked eye *at night* (ie, as opposed to early twilight!) — instead of one that makes people think it’s the Star of Bethlehem on steroids.

Damaged Goods August 17, 2013 at 1:59 PM

You pretty much hit that one on the head. Same goes for comets. Ya tell people ….There is a bright new comet in the western skies after sunset………and if ya haven’t a clue about them. You will wonder what all the hype is about.

Phil McClellin August 21, 2013 at 2:43 PM

That’d be me. Though, I thought it looked more like the Starbrand.

Enrique Fiset August 17, 2013 at 2:21 PM

Tonight… I try to see it.

JonHanford August 17, 2013 at 2:35 PM

The shot by Andre van der Hoeven also includes a view of the little planetary nebula NGC 6905 (aka Blue Flash Nebula): http://www.perezmedia.net/beltofvenus/archives/001440.html

While small in size, the planetary has a high surface brightness and is definitely worth a look in small telescopes.

Aqua4U August 19, 2013 at 12:41 AM

Good catch!

Robert Lanktree August 19, 2013 at 10:12 AM

How long do you think it will be before we know how far this star is and when (approx) it actually went Nova?

DSTIEBS August 26, 2013 at 2:21 AM

Use a tripod.

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