Calling all Northern astronomers: Get out your binoculars and telescopes! We might have a new nova in the sky!
How did we Discover it?
The nova was first discovered by Yuji Nakamura, an astronomer in the Mie prefecture in Japan. This discovery was made on the 18th March and in 4 frames, showed a bright 9.6 magnitude spot in Cassiopeia that hadn’t been there before!
This was investigated by Hiroyuki Maehara at the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and Kenta Taguchi, Yusuke Tampo, Naoto Kojiguchi, and Keisuke Isogai at Kyoto University using the University’s 0.4 m telescope and their Seimei Telescope. The Astronomers confirmed this event as a classical nova and gave it the name V1405 Cas.
How can I see the Nova?
This nova is about a magnitude 8 object as of now. It should be visible with binoculars or a small telescope. It’s in Cassiopeia so provided you are high in the Northern hemisphere, you should be able to see it for a while!
V1405 Cas’ location is RA 23 24 47.73 and DEC +61 11 14.8, if that information is useful to you. After a quick look at Cassiopeia, this nova should be near Caph a.k.a β Cas. This is one of the stars at the end of Cassiopeia, an in the image above it is the bright one at the top.
Here’s 2 images by Yuji Nakamura/NAOJ to help you pinpoint the nova.
So what are you waiting for? Get your telescopes out and have a search!
Post any images over at the BAA Variable Star forum, it’d be great to see your amazing work!