Ultra-low resolution spectrum taken by M. Uemura and T. Kato (Kyoto University)
As reported in IAUC 7323, Alfredo Pereira (Portugal) made a visual discovery of an apparent nova in Aql. The nova has reported to be still brightening, now reaching the 5th magnitude.
19h 23m 05s.38 (J2000.0) +04o 57' 20".1 Reported magnitudes: 1999 Dec. 1.785 UT 6.0 (A. Pereira, IAUC 7323) 1.813 5.8 (A. Pereira, IAUC 7323) 1.819 5.9 (C. Vitorino, IAUC 7323) 1.842 5.8 (C. Vitorino, IAUC 7323) 1.843 5.8 (A. Pereira, IAUC 7323) 1.939 5.1 (D. E. Green, IAUC 7323) 1.95 5.2 CCD unfiltered (D. di Cicco) 2.07 5.03V (B. Skiff, vsnet-alert 3759) 2.07 5.43b (B. Skiff, vsnet-alert 3759)A USNO star with r=15.6 and b=17.4 has been pointed out at the location of the nova.
In reporting in the VSNET format, please use "AQLnova1999-2" until the final GCVS designation is assigned.
We would be very grateful to hear the discovery story/circumstances by the discoverer and/or the people concerned.
We will soon set up a WWW page, with a Java interface at the URL
I may be one of the few people who can do photometry on objects as bright as Nova Aql 1999 no. 2. A quick set of measurements with the Lowell 53cm reflector and Stromgren filters yields the following values using the primary standard HD 188728 as a differential comparison star:
UT Date V b-y 1999 Dec 2.07 5.03 0.40
Uncertainties about +/-0.03 in each due to the approximate nature of the zero-point adjustment and abysmal seeing (~20") due a frontal passage just two hours prior. The two settings on the nova several minutes apart agree within 0.02 mag. in V and b-y.
I hunt for novae visually with 9x34 and 14x100 binoculars, and I still need to add the totals of my last few months, but the grand total is close to 500 hours now. Nova hunting is in fact my main astro-work, more than comets because I fear light pollution will sooner or later deter my comet observing, as my NEL is now no better than 6.0-6.3 on good nights, and is gradually getting worse. Nova hunting takes a lot of time and effort. I spend about 1h 30m each clear night regardless of the Moon. I scan Sgr (with 14x100's to mag 8.5 or so) Sct, Aql. A bit of Oph, Her, Sge, Vul, Cyg, and small parts of Cep, Lac, Cas, And, Aur, and Pup. All to mag. 7.5-9.0 depending on locations.
Memorizing the binocular constellations which one invents for the purpose is very easy. Much more difficult is to keep assiduity. In winter/early spring I have to get up at 4am. My whole hunting area is currently about 2000 square degrees, with over 3000 stars memorized. I tried in 1981 with Del and Lyr which were small but soon gave up. I was young (now I'm 35) and very unpatient! In 1987 I resumed attempts, but hunted very irregulary and my area was still too small. In 1991 I started what I call serious hunting, and since then have logged nearly 500 hours, which is reasonable. In 1994 I did not make any astronomy at all. In the past two years I managed ~100h/year.
I caught N Aql 99 #2 just a few minutes after I had started another evening session. I had swept Sct, and rising the 14x100's I scanned central Aquilae where I go deep to mag 8.5. I had the intention of switching to 9x34's since these areas were higher in the sky, but then I saw a bright object that completely disturbed even the main "skeleton" of my binocular patterns. I waited a few seconds, and it did not move, then I waited more... no movement! My heart pounded! I layed the 14x100's on the sofa-chair I was using inside to look through an open window (some parts of my hunting are made from indoors); and I went to call Catarina. Then another look and no movement. Of course I had seen the field hundreds of times, and knew very well that nothing should be there. We checked GSC7 for variables and asteroids, then we checked photos taken in 1992 that act as a home-made photo atlas to check suspects. Nothing was there of course, so we measured an approximate position and prepared a report for CBAT. When I tried to loggin to campus, we found that our mail was not going out repeatedly. Panic! We re-set the computer, and tried a few more times. Then we decided to give CBAT a phone call. We continued to observe the object until it set. In was an anxious evening waiting for confirmation. I still managed to do some more nova hunting, but I'm afraid I missed checking many parts of my program this night.
Wide-field chart (the lowermost star is delta Aql)
Charts with Hipparcos/Tycho magnitudes:
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