In my last post on January 20 about Nova Mus 2018, I said that another southern nova had been discovered, this one by John Seach in the early hours of January 19 in the constellation of Circinus, near alpha and beta Centauri. That post also showed a Stellarium context screenshot and pointed to an AAVSO finder chart.
This nova has slowly been on the rise for the last several days from around magnitude 8.5 to 6.3 by January 27.
The following 15 second DSLR images I took on Jan 22, 23, 26 and 27 show the nova brightening over time:
If the images seem out of focus, that’s because they are. They were used for photometry rather than with the intention of being pretty; use of defocus is part of the procedure. See this talk I gave about DSLR photometry in 2015 for more detail. There’s some positional differences between frames, reflecting the difference in observation time from night to night.
The light curve below shows visual, Johnson V, and Tri-Color Green (DSLR) observations from January 19 to 28; mine are in purple. I’ve also submitted observations in blue and red bands.
This light curve doesn’t appear to show a simple linear increase, so it will be interesting to see where the rise stops.
Rob Kaufman (discoverer of Nova Mus 2018) said that a low resolution spectrum he took on January 26 was essentially featureless.
The sky is largely clouded out tonight here in Adelaide at the end of a hot day (42° C), but I just caught a quick glimpse of the nova in 7×50 binoculars, but wasn’t able to check against comparison stars. It’s around the same magnitude as last night though. I’ll carry out more DSLR photometry as soon as I can.
In the meantime I have two more nights of Nova Mus 2018 (currently on the decline) DSLR images to process. I’ll write an update post for that nova too.