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Monday, September 26, 2016


A Bright Probable Nova in Lupus (26 September, 2016)

Location of Nova Lupi. The image shows the South-Western horizon as seen from Adelaide an hour and a half after sunset. Similar views will be seen elsewhere in Australia at equivalent times. Click to embiggenThe image shows a simulated binocular view of nova Lupi (it will not look like a bright yellow ball at all, but more like a dim star) just above epsilon Lupi. Click to embiggen
Black and white printable chart of the western horizon at 9:30 pm. The Click to embiggen and print (use with redlight torches so as to not destroy your night vision).Black and white printable chart suitable for use with binoculars or telescopes. The large circle is the field of view of 10x50 binoculars.Click to embiggen and print (use with redlight torches so as to not destroy your night vision).

Astronomical telegrams have reported a bright probable nova ASASSN-16kt not far from epsilon Lupi at RA 15:29:01.82, DEC -44:49:40.89 (J2000.0) at magnitude 9.1. The nova has rapidly brightened and is now almost unaided eye magnitude according to the latest astronomical telegram with its reported magnitude between between 6.9 B and 6.3V.

UPDATE: NOPE found it on camera images, definitely there at around mag 6. It should be readily visible in binoculars, but by the time I went out tonight (9:30 pm ACST) it was just above the roof tops and I could not identify it. It is possible the nova may be fading already (although unlikely, alternatively, my rubbish eyesight and horizon murk obscured it). The best time to view is at astronomical twilight, when it is still high above the horizon.

A bright nova is a treat, so get out and have a look tomorrow (those of you not caught up in the "storm of a generation")

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