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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Nova Scorpii 2007 Spotted

Nova Scorpii 2007

Just before dawn I managed to observe and photograph the nova in Scorpius (V1280 Scorpii), the brightest since Nova Cygni in 1975. At its brightest, on Friday the 16th, it was about magnitude 3.9, but it has since faded to around magnitude 4.5. Given that it's low on the horizon at Fourmilab's latitude (here's a horizon view at the moment the above picture was taken, courtesy of Your Sky) where haze and light pollution interfere with observation, I was unable to spot the nova with the unaided eye but it was an easy binocular object and I managed to capture it in the photo above which, while far from great, at least unambiguously shows the nova. Click the photo to show a 1600 pixel wide crop from the original frame without the legends.

The photo was taken at 05:02 UTC on 2007-02-20 with a Nikon D200 camera and 28–200 mm zoom lens at 28 mm (equivalent to 42 mm on a 24×36 mm film camera). Exposure was 10 seconds at f/3.5 with ISO 1600 sensitivity. The image has been contrast stretched but not otherwise modified apart from the addition of the annotations.

Posted at February 20, 2007 15:30