A "New Star" Is Fading Away
by Reinhard Ilk

(minimum resolution: 800 x 600 - best resolution: 1024 x 768)


On August 14th, 2013 Koichi Itagaki discovered a Nova in the constellation of Delphinus.

In former centuries, astronomers thought that if a star suddenly appears in the night sky this was the sign of star formation. Therefore it was called a "stella nova", which is latin for "new star". Today we know that a nova does not indicate the birth of a star, but rather the vigorous instability in the final stage of a close double star system.

I took the chance to capture the region twice, once shortly after the discovery went around the globe through mailing lists, the second time two weeks later when the light curve showed significant signs of fading. Compare the pictures and mind the considerable difference in brightness of the star at the center.

If you should happen to download the full resolution of either of the two pictures, you might notice the green-blueish spot at the bottom of the picture. It is not an artifact from the camera, but a tiny planetary nebula, NGC 6905.

To download the maximum resolution, click at the pictures.
To download the full size (868kB) difference picture between the two frames, klick here.
To download a combined crop version (200kB) to toggle, klick here.

And these are my brightness estimates, well in line with the AAVSO light curves:
2013-08-16, 23:45 UT (4.95m)
2013-08-17, 01:20 UT (4.90m)
2013-08-21, 20:30 UT (5.59m)
2013-08-30, 19:40 UT (6.95m)


Nova Delphini on Aug 16th, 2013

Size: 59 KB
Lens: 480 mm / 6.0
Camera: Canon EOS 350D mod.
Filter: none
Date of exposure: Aug 16th, 2013
Exposure time: 59x30 sec @ +15░C
Location: 16°01' E, 48°02' N
 


Nova Delphini on Aug 30th, 2013

Size: 57 KB
Lens: 480 mm / 6.0
Camera: Canon EOS 350D mod.
Filter: none
Date of exposure: Aug 30th, 2013
Exposure time: 59x30 sec @ +15░C
Location: 16°01' E, 48°02' N
 

Please keep in mind that astrophotography is a hobby that demands a lot of money and even more time and effort. So I have to state that the copyrights for all of my pictures are reserved. In case you'd like to use my pictures for more than just watching them, please send me an e-mail and ask for permission.
Thank you.


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