Cygnus Nova Alert!!

by Tammy Plotner on April 11, 2008

Courtesy of NASA)According to today’s April 11 IAU Circular 8934, issued by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts a 7th-magnitude nova was discovered on April 10, 2008, by Koichi Nishiyama and Fujio Kabashima in Japan. It’s time to observe!


The event is located in Cygnus, about one-third of the way from Albireo (β Cygni) to Sadr (γ Cygni) – RA 19 43 0 Dec +32 19. From early reports, it may still be continuing to brighten. Ernesto Guido and Giovanni Sostero of Remanzacco, Italy confirmed the discovery before the IAU announcement was made and estimated the nova’s magnitude at 7.5 at approximate 09:00:00 UT, 11 April 2008.

This image above is a map of Cygnus where the dimmest star shown is magnitude 7.5. The target area is circled. Binoculars and small telescopes are very capable of seeing this event! The zoomed map you see here is slightly larger than a binocular field of view and features the target area. The magnitudes are also set to 7.5. Should the event brighten, any stars you see that are in the target area brighter than what is shown will be the nova event.

If any updates or corrections occur, I will post them immediately. Clear skies and good luck!


Tammy is a professional astronomy author, President Emeritus of Warren Rupp Observatory and retired Astronomical League Executive Secretary. She’s received a vast number of astronomy achievement and observing awards, including the Great Lakes Astronomy Achievement Award, RG Wright Service Award and the first woman astronomer to achieve Comet Hunter's Gold Status.

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