How to find Nova Del 2013

The nova of Delphinus 2013 is still shining in the southern sky, and it’s brightness right now is about 5,0 magnitudes. It’s brightness peaked around 15./16. of August. The maximum brightness then was about 4,2 magnitudes. At maximum brightness, it would have easily been visible with naked eye even in some light polluted sub-urban areas! Now the nova have been getting fainter, but the decrease of brightness has been quite slow. It means that it is still a suitable target for observers with small binoculars or telescope! This nova is one of the 20 brightest novas all time, so this is a must-see object for every amateur astronomer and stargazer!

Then how to find the nova from the sky?

Look at the southern sky, there you will find constellation of Aquila, the eagle. The brightest star of Aquila, Altair, is the southernmost star of the so-called Summer Triangle. The stars of Summer Triangle are Altair (Aquila), Deneb (Cygnus, the swan) and Vega (Lyra, the lyre). Now go about 10º from Altair to northeast. From there, you will find small constellations of Delphinus, the dolphin and Sagitta. Sagitta is latin for “arrow”, and actually the small but distinct arrow -asterism of Sagitta is pointing directly to the nova! The nova is located roughly halfway from the easternmost star of Sagitta (eta Sge) towards star 28 Vul in constellation of Vulpecula, the fox.

Other way is to start from Alpha Del. From Alpha Del, go 5º north to 28 Vul. From 28 Vul, go 3º west, and there you can find the nova! The nova is part of a triangular asterism, which is pointing westwards to constellation of Sagitta. The nova itself is the westernmost star of this asterism!

 

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