A new nova was discovered March 18 in the constellation Cassiopeia. Its location: right ascension 23h 24m 48s, declination +61° 11′ 15″. That’s 6 degrees northwest of Caph (β Cas) and 1/2 degree south of the open cluster M52, 1/2 degree east of the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). It will not be visible in binoculars but is in small telescopes.

Novae and supernovae are different. Supernovae are usually the end of a large star’s life, resulting in a neutron star, a black hole or nothing. Novae are a white dwarf star remnant in a binary system that doesn’t get enough matter from its companion to become a supernova, but it eventually gets enough matter to have a surface nuclear explosion (the nova). They can happen repeatedly.

To see the nova and other celestial wonders, join the group at the Insperity Observatory for public night on the first Friday of each month: humbleisd.net/observatory

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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