Astronomy Now Home

Bright nova in Delphinus

Posted: 15 August 2013

Nova Delphini
Location of the bright nova in Delphinus. AN graphic Greg Smye-Rumsby.

A new nova has appeared in the constellation Delphinus. Currently estimated to be at magnitude +6, it is possible that the nova could brighten even further to become visible to the naked eye in dark skies.

Novae are outbursting stars, when a compact white dwarf star accretes so much material from a close companion that it undergoes a thermonuclear explosion on its surface that suddenly leads to the star brightening. This new nova was discovered on 14 August by Koichi Itagaki, an amateur astronomer from Japan.

Delphinus is a well known yet small constellation just east of the Summer Triangle and the nova's exact position is RA 20h 23m 30.7s, Dec +20° 46' 03". It's not the first nova to have been found in Delphinus either; the great British observer George Alcock discovered the nova HR Del in 1967, the first of his novae discoveries.

Careful monitoring of the novae will now take place to see how bright it does become. You can submit magnitude estimates to both the British Astronomical Association's Variable Star Section ( or the American Association of Variable Stars (