On the 14th August a 'new' star was observed by Koichi Itagaki in Japan. Is is not really a new star but one that has brightened by many orders of magnitude. It became bright enough to be visible to the naked eye and has since faded but can still be seen with binoculars.
Spectroscopic observations have revealed the signature of a classical nova. These events occur in a binary star system where hydrogen gas flows onto a white dwarf star from a larger companion. This builds up until it reaches a temperature at which fusion can occur and we see the dramatic increase in light.
It is located near to the constellation of Sagitta (The Arrow), which helpfully points in the right direction. Sagitta can be found above Altair, the bright star towards the south in the late evening at the moment.
The exposure also records the planetary nebula M27, which emits strongly in the green light of ionised oxygen.
This shot was taken using the Sony 70-300mm G SSM lens, fitted out with a 48mm light pollution filter.
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