Saturday, August 17, 2013
Nova Delphinus 16 August 2013
Nova Delphinus is generating lots of excitement as it keeps on brightening, the AAVSO has reports of magnitude 4.5 and 4.4 (see the light curve here). I did photometry on my images using 9 reference stars from magnitude 5.7 to 3.5, and I get magnitude 4.3 for the nova. Just on visual estimation alone I am confident that it is brighter than 4.6. Because the magnitude 4.45 and 4.2 comparison stars are several binocular fields away from the nova it's difficult to make a careful comparison of the brightness (for me anyway), but 4.5-4.4 is realistic. Apparently this puts Nova Delphinus 2013 in the top 35 brightest nova in recorded history.
What that means is that the nova is currently (just) visible to the unaided eye despite the moonlight and light pollution in the suburbs. You do need to use averted vision to see it clearly, but it is there.
What will the nova do now. It's hard to tell, it may brighten a little bit more over the coming day, so it will still be bright tomorrow night, or it may start fading. The only thing to do is keep watching!
Don't forget viewing guides are here, and my previous images here.