Star brightens in Scorpius

Ian Musgrave reports (via the AAVSO) that a star has brightened in the constellation of Scorpius. Over the past 12 days since its discovery by Japanese astronomes, this nova named V1280 SCO has brightened from 9th magnitude (need good binoculars or a small telescope) to 3rd magnitude (can be seen by eye from rural and suburban areas). Translating from astronomer to English, that works out as an increase in brightness of around a factor 250 which is pretty impressive. The result is that you should now be able to see this star by eye and in fact Ian has already taken its picture with a digital camera. If you want to have a look yourself you'll have to be up bright and early - from about 6am in Europe - as Scorpius is a morning constellation at the moment. From Europe you'll have to look very low in the southern sky to see it so you'll be looking through lots of turbulent atmosphere and probably not get a great view. For finding charts check out the AAVSO chart, Ian's chart for the southern hemisphere or Phil Plait's chart for the northern hemisphere.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 18th Feb 2007 (13:27 CET) | Permalink
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