APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

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APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by APOD Robot » Mon Nov 21, 2016 5:11 am

Image Nova over Thailand

Explanation: A nova in Sagittarius is bright enough to see with binoculars. Detected last month, the stellar explosion even approached the limit of naked-eye visibility last week. A classical nova results from a thermonuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star -- a dense star having the size of our Earth but the mass of our Sun. In the featured image, the nova was captured last week above ancient Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai, Thailand. To see Nova Sagittarius 2016 yourself, just go out just after sunset and locate near the western horizon the constellation of the Archer (Sagittarius), popularly identified with an iconic teapot. Also visible near the nova is the very bright planet Venus. Don't delay, though, because not only is the nova fading, but that part of the sky is setting continually closer to sunset.

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Joe Stieber
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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by Joe Stieber » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:18 am

One should be careful about calling this object "Nova Sagittarius 2016" (beyond quibbling about not using the genitive, Sagittarii). On October 20, 2016, the nova TCP J18102829-2729590 was also discovered in Sagittarius. It reached a relatively bright nominal 8th magnitude and was just 2.5 degrees from the subject nova, PNV J18205200-2822100, which was discovered on October 25, 2016. They would be the second or third, or third and fourth, novae discovered in Sagittarius this year (there is one earlier discovery that is still unsettled, it would be the first if confirmed). So, the subject nova would ultimately become Nova Sagittarii 2016 No. 3 (or No. 4). Whew!

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Chris Peterson
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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by Chris Peterson » Mon Nov 21, 2016 2:36 pm

Joe Stieber wrote:So, the subject nova would ultimately become Nova Sagittarii 2016 No. 3 (or No. 4).
I don't think that's the case. That format is just provisional (and would actually use "#", not "No."). The permanent designation would follow the GCVS format used for variable stars.
Chris

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saturno2
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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by saturno2 » Mon Nov 21, 2016 4:17 pm

Beautiful image-

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MarkBour
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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by MarkBour » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:27 pm

If the photographer had moved over a little, he could have had the point on the buddha's cap aiming right at the nova. Indeed, perhaps by moving in closer, he could have made that point come right up to it (don't know if those are actually locations he could have stood at). But, alas, it probably would not have made as beautiful a picture as this one.
Mark Goldfain

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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by RJN » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:20 pm

The text has been updated to include discovery information and links.

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Re: APOD: Nova over Thailand (2016 Nov 21)

Post by DavidLeodis » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:17 pm

RJN wrote:The text has been updated to include discovery information and links.
With the change to the explanation to the APOD following the update I am now confused. If I am understanding it correctly the nova being referred to in the new explanation (but not yet altered in this discussion) is not the same nova that is in the APOD image, despite that it may have been detected on the same date (October 25 2016) in Sagittarius. :?

Edit added shortly after. I now think that both nova are actually the same but its detection reporting at differing sites and thus also having differing names seems to be behind my confusion!