Mar 2015

Nova in the Teapot!

Hi Everyone!
We have a nova in the sky right now! It is just below the lid of the “Teapot” asterism a portion of the constellation Sagittarius the Archer. The nova is right at the limit of naked eye vision and should stand out from the nearby stars in the binocular view.

This is a good reason to get up before dawn! It should brighten over the next few weeks, we hope!
This “new” star is a nova like the one in Delphinus back in 2013. It is in our own galaxy. These type nova are as a result of a periodic flare up of a white dwarf star in a binary star system.
The classic Supernova is a different animal! Those events are the catastrophic demise of a fairly large star. Supernova become as bright as the entire host galaxy for a period of time.
We have not recorded a supernova in our own galaxy for some centuries now. Last years supernova was in distant galaxy M82. Astronomer record supernova in other galaxies several times a year. Last years M82 event was notable for being in a easy to find galaxy...I can find M82 with the least impressive binoculars I own!
Rise time for Zeta Sagittari is about 5 am. That is the mag 3.8 star to lower left of the handle and the bottom of the Teapot “asterism” in Sagittarius. The “Teapot” is actually the archers bow and arrow!
Good luck! Report back any exciting results you’d like to share!
Clear skies!
Brett Tatton
Past (for now) President BAS