Saturday, April 12, 2008

7th magnitude: another nova in Cygnus!

"Koichi Nishiyama, Japan and Fujio Kabashima, also of Japan report discovery of a possible nova (mag 7.7) on two 20-s unfiltered CCD frames (limiting mag about 12.5) taken on 2008 Apr.10.728 UT using a 105-mm-f.l. f/5.6 camera lens," reports The Astronomer Electronic Circular #2438 this morning: "A precise position has been obtained: RA 19h 43m 01.96s DEC +32 19' 13.8" (2000) On April 10.78UT the magnitude was 7.7 (unfiltered)." There is also an "independent discovery at mag approximately 8.0 by Z.-w. Jin and X. Gao on several 60-s survey images (limiting mag about 15.0) taken by Gao on Apr.10.831 with a Canon EOS-350D camera (+ 7-cm-aperture, 200-mm-f.l.f/2.8 lens) at Xingming Observatory, Mt. Nanshan, with Beize measuring position end figures 02s.00, 10".1 for the variable". And so we file yet another nova discovery by amateurs! A red star of 18th magnitude seen on historical images as well as an X-ray source could be the precursor of Nova Cygni 2008 #2 which has already been given the final designation V2491 Cyg.

In other news the 2nd sunspot of the 24th cycle may be forming. • The total solar eclipse of 1925 filmed from an airship! (Here's the YouTube video stand-alone). • The Moon will occult M 44 (the Beehive cluster) on April 13 for Europe. • A deep image of Orion, another one and a deep LMC image. • Observing giant planets in the methane band - now amateurs do that, too!

• Restarting the "Pluto debate" is a bad idea - the arguments for its reclassification in 2006 were sound. • Another cool ISS image of Apr. 7 (also discussed here). • A new satellite crash predictor for your site. • Two Iridium flare light curves. • And, after a celebrated river journey, the Buran prototype has reached its final destination today; the story even went international.

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