First observation of Nova Del 2013!

Date: 15./16.8.2013
Time: 00:00-01:15
Observing site: Uittamo, Turku, Finland
Instrument: L102/1000mm (4” Lens)

NELM: 5,6
SQM: 19,65
Darkness of the background sky: 3
Seeing: 2
Transparency: 2
Weather: Clear sky, +10 °C, calm, no Moon, no aurorae

Objects observed: Nova Del 2013 (visual, photography), SS Cyg (visual), R Cyg (visual)

Japanese astronomer Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan discovered a new star in constellation of Delphinus in 14th of August 2013. This nova (latin for new star) was named Nova Del 2013, and many observers started to observe this phenomenon immediately! I did my first observation of this object in the night between 15th and 16th of August 2013. I estimated the brightness of the nova to be about 5.6 mag. After making a visual brightness estimation, I also photographed the object, and it is well visible in the photo!

Besides this new nova, I observed also SS Cyg and R Cyg. SS Cyg is it’s minimum state (12.0 mag.), just like couple of weeks ago when I observed it last time. I had look on the AAVSO light curve for the star, and I noticed that during my short observing break, the star had just erupted and the returned to the normal state! This outburst seemed to be a short one, lasting for about 7-8 days. This means that it takes another 2-3 weeks when the star could have an outburst again. R Cygni is getting brighter, and it is close to it’s maximum. The brightness of this mira -star was about 6.7 mag.

Now in mid-August, nights are already properly dark for astronomical observing at least here in southern Finland. It takes still another two weeks for the sky to get dark enough in northern Finland.  I went observing to a relatively dark site in Uittamo district of Turku, Finland. The site is an open place with only minimal amount of direct light pollution. This site is satisfactory for making dark sky observations. Observing conditions were rather good last night. NELM was 5,7 and SQM 19,65, which is really good enough for making astronomical observations!

Variable star observations:

Date Time Star Mag. Comp.
15./16.8.2013 00.30 Nova Del 2013 5.6 5.7
15./16.8.2013 00.46 SS Cyg 12.0 11.9
15./16.8.2013 01.00 R Cyg 6.7 6.5
Nova Del 2013 photographed 15./16.8.2013
Nova Del 2013 photographed 15./16.8.2013

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