Nova candidate in Centaurus brightens overnight

Further to my post last night, the transient near Beta Centauri (PNV J13544700-5909080) has brightened to 4.6 overnight. Paul Camilleri (NSW) observed the nova candidate at magnitude 5 and soon after, Andrew Pearce (WA) reported a magnitude of 4.7, closely followed by 4.6.

In addition to Malcolm Locke’s, Rob Kaufman (NSW) has also obtained a spectrum (also showing the H-α and H-β emission lines) and others will no doubt follow.

This blog post shows a nice before and after animation of the region of sky around the nova. Note that the object was discovered by John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW, as per the CBAT announcement.

2013 12 02.692

Possible new nova in Centaurus. Discovered by John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW Australia. Instrument DSLR with 50 mm f/1.0 lens. Visible on 6 images, limiting magnitude 11. Nothing visible on image taken with same instrument on November 26.69 UT 2013 limiting magnitude 11. Nothing visible on variable star index, DSS2-red, or minor planet checker.

See the CBAT page for some additional follow-up.

The AAVSO International Database still has only 4 visual observations of the object but Arne Henden has said that APASS observations are in the works.

I can’t convey to you how frustrating it is to have to wait for decent weather to be able to make observations of this object!

Updates:

  • Sebastian Otero’s latest observation puts the nova at magnitude 4.3!
  • As mentioned in the AAVSO forum thread, Steven Graham’s webcam in NZ may show that the outburst occurred on December 2.
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