A Nova Rediscovered After 600 Years

2155 Views | Published on 28th Sep, 2017

Recent observations confirm a nova seen 600 years ago.

The diligence of experienced star gazers can stand the test of time, in this case 600 years later. Korean astrologers in Seoul almost 600 years ago observed a bright new star in the tail of the constellation Scorpius. They monitored it for 15 days, but then it faded from view. A new look by astronomers today considered the observations of the Royal Imperial Astrologers. They determined this transient star was an outburst called a nova explosion. A recently published study discusses the new data that suggests that observation from the 1930s signaled the presence of a small scale “dwarf nova” which undergoes periodic eruptions. This means that some of these objects can erupt and then fade for hundreds even thousands of years before being seen again.

Join Tony Darnell and Carol Christian during Afternoon Astronomy Coffee on September 28, 2017 at 3PM Eastern (Daylight) Time as they discuss with Michael Shara (American Museum of Natural History) and collaborators how this object was found and what the new analysis indicates about it.

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