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Astronomers Spot a Nova

A new Nova appearing in the northern constellation of Cassiopeia can be seen using binoculars and telescopes. This transient object was first seen by an amateur astronomer from Japan.

A new astronomer Yiji Nakamura from Japan spotted a Nova on March 18. He reported his discovery to the national Astronomical observatory. Later that day astronomers used the Kyoto University’s Seimei Telescope in Okayama and confirmed it as a Nova.

The National Astronomical Observatory of Japan passed a statement that the observation was carried out for only half a day after the discovery. The astronomers also revealed that they cannot predict the exact whereabouts of the transient object. Designated Nova V1405 Cas, the object was initially detected at 9.6 magnitudes but it brightened significantly in the days following its discovery.

Currently, the object is glowing at around 7.6 magnitudes, making it visible to binoculars and small telescopes, and quite possibly the unaided eye. This object is a type in which nuclear explosions cause the spectacular brightening of white dwarf stars, which are common in the Milky Way, but visible novae are relatively rare. The white dwarf siphons off material from its companion until the white dwarf heats up enough to blast material outward, creating the brighter light that we can spot across space.

This object will soon fade away. To spot the Nova one must first spot the constellation Cassiopeia which is seen above the horizon when looking North-Northwest after the sun goes down. Then using the two stars in Cassiopeia. Draw the line to the right for some distance as the two stars apart from each other.

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