Tag Archives: Sagitta

A Small Mob For A Big Event – Quick Summary Of The New Nova Party For PNVJ20233073+2046041

CNYO’s first official “Scope Mob” and New Nova Party was composed of Larry Slosberg, Dan Williams, and myself. After only 50 minutes of observing (and enjoying a moonlit sky still clear enough to see plenty of detail), I am pleased to report that we:

(1) found the nova easily enough in binoculars and scopes

(2) saw three bright Perseids between us (it’s still going!)

(3) caught the ISS and many, many satellites

(4) as an added bonus – we caught DAICHI (ALOS) that flared four times as it went from South to North (very nice addition!). To see what gave it that flaring power, I refer you to the image below (and its very hefty solar array):


DAICHI (ALOS) – See space.com for details.

(5) found the Moon yet again (very pleasant as always, with some nice brightening of high-elevation objects beyond the terminator)

(6) found a great little spot for hosting future impromptu darker sky observing sessions

For those wanting to check out the nova themselves in the next few days, I am pleased to report that it is presently Naked Eye (so is markedly brighter than it was even last night – 5.0 and brightening by all reports). For those interested in the search, I provide unlabeled and labeled images below. The key is to find the brighter Delphinus (look below Cygnus for the medium-bright diamond shape), then find Sagitta above and to the right (looks like a dim arrow). Naked Eye, you will see a star above Delphinus’ head, then another one between this bright star and the arrow tip of Sagitta. That “other” star is the nova, likely set to be even brighter tomorrow (with a closer Moon but still clear predicted skies). If you’re using 7x to 25x binoculars, you will see a small cluster of stars to the lower-left of the nova – which I’ve connected in the form of a Rockette for what may or may not be an obvious reason.


Unmarked image (Canon T3i, 13 sec. exposure, ISO 1600). Click for a larger view.


Marked image (Canon T3i, 13 sec. exposure, ISO 1600). Click for a larger view.

But it’s a relatively easy find once you have Delphinus and Sagitta figured out. There are only two other bright starts in the vicinity!

“New Nova” Scope Mob TONIGHT (Thursday, 15 August) For PNVJ20233073+2046041 In Delphinus!

Greetings fellow astrophiles!

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. Tonight is a go for our Nova Party! We’ll commence at 10 p.m. We hope you can join us!

1. Please check back here by 8:00 p.m. for the FINAL
announcement about time and location.

2. Please be judicious with your parking! If attending,
try to avoid hitting attendees with your headlights!


Nova location. Image from universetoday.com (click the image for their excellent summary).

The amateur astronomy twitter feeds and blog sites have been buzzing the last 24 hours about a new nova discovered in Delphinus (right near the border with Sagitta – the constellation it’s technically closer to). Astronomers estimate that 30 to 60 novae occur in the Milky Way each year (with an average of 40 according to Ref. [1] below), but there’s a lot of distance and dust that obscures many of their views from typical large-telescope amateur observers. This new nova is a rare treat for CNY viewers, as it is not only bright enough to see with binoculars from downtown Syracuse (as I did last night), but it’s in the Northern Hemisphere – viewable to our South. We won the North/South Pole count toss as well!

In order to take this rare event in, a few CNYO members are going to bring their scopes to the large parking area just south of Jamesville Beach tonight at 10:00 p.m. for an official “Scope Mob” (hosting the event south of Syracuse to avoid its pervasive light pollution). The map below is centered on the spot we expect to be at – but we’ll be checking the grounds later today to confirm it’s accessible (so please check back here around 8:00 p.m. for the official FINAL announcement).

View Larger Map

We hope you can join us to take this rare event in! And maybe some other viewing (such as the Moon) as well!

Ref. 1: Prialnik, Dina (2001). “Novae”. In Paul Murdin. Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Institute of Physics Publishing/Nature Publishing Group. pp. 1846–1856.