Saturday, September 10, 2011

Transient Nova in Scorpius


There was a bit of excitement this week when John Seach set up his camera gear and identified a Transient at magnitude of 9.8 on September 6.37 UT at 16:36:43 -41:32:46 and the AAVSO fired out an Alert.

The notification was posted on the CBAT (Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams) Transient Object Confirmation Page

However, it quickly became apparent that the Japanese researcher Nakamura also posted a Transient event at 16 36 44.40 -41 32 34.0 (about 12 pixels away) and noted that the accuracy residuals were within 30" (arcsecs).

Southern observers starved of attention with all the excitement around "northern hemisphere only" SN 2011fe, were quickly on the job. With Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes and Giovanni Sostero on the Faulkes Telescope and Seiichiro Kiyota on Global-Rent-a-scope's G9 telescope between them they confirmed the "halfway mark" at 16:36:44 -41:32:37. By about 10pm (local)Sept 07 there was quite a flurry of telescope activity, and I grabbed some photos and data as well and recorded the object at 10.4 in the V Johnson filter.

All subsequent data has been tied to Nakamura's CBAT telegram and a formal announcement is being constructed. [Formal Release Sun 11 Sept 09:07 UTC - a very detailed document, the object is to be reported as Nova Sco 2011 No. 2 in all observations to AAVSO]

(Note: not all of the above are southern observers ;-) but they visit so frequently we give them honorary southern hemisphere citizenship)

So we have a bright transient in the Southern Hemisphere for all those who are missing out on SN 2011fe action in the north.


The weather itself has been a bit transient so I was unable to get additional data on the 8th. The AAVSO are collating reports and working with CBAT and will post some details shortly.


Preliminary analysis suggests that it is a typical Fe II type Nova. Its important to note that Fe here refers to the presence of strong Fe Lines in the spectra and has nothing to do with the naming convention of the recent Supernova 2011fe.

Still its nice to have our own "Fe" to chase in the southern hemisphere.

Type Fe II Nova's are associated with sudden interstellar reddening.

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