Saturday, March 8, 2008

8th magnitude nova erupts in Cygnus

Nova Cygni 2008 was discovered yesterday by Japanese amateur Hiroshi Kaneda during his sky survey with a digital camera + 105-mm f/2.5 telephoto lens: He found the nova at mag 8.2±0.3 on on Mar. 7.801 UTC. The 'new star' is at R.A. = 19h58m33s.4, Decl. = +29o52'04" (equinox 2000.0; uncertainty estimated to be ±15"), according to CBET # 1291 of today. Kaneda noted "that nothing is visible at this position on his patrol frames taken on 2007 Oct. 5, (limiting mag 10.5), 2008 Jan. 1 (limiting mag 10.7), and Feb. 18 (limiting mag 10.5); also, nothing is present on the Digitized Sky Survey within 20" of this position to mag 13.0." Numerous additional claims of independent discovery have since come in, the first being from Zhang-wei Jin and Xing Gao, using a Canon EOS 350D camera (+ 7-cm-aperture, 200-mm-f.l. f/2.8 telephoto lens) at Xingming Observatory, Mt. Nanshan, China - during the same nova survey that led to a comet discovery (later named Chen-Gao) a month ago!

In other news a just discovered NEA should reach mag 12 tonight, a Canadian fireball may have dropped meteorites, the Saturn storm is still around, there are views of comet Holmes at the CA nebula of March 8, 6 (dito, dito) and 4, Mira is fading after its recent maximum, and the Sombrero without a galaxy has been created with unusual image processing ...

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