A possible nova has been discovered near Beta Centauri, one of the two stars that “point to” the Southern Cross.
Initial estimates put it at around magnitude 5.3. As Sebastian Otero says, we will have to wait and see whether it has been caught near its peak or is still brightening.
Here is an AAVSO thread about the object. One of the posts to the thread (by Sebastian Otero) includes a finder chart with comparison stars.
Right now, I’m biding my time, waiting for the object to rise higher so I can catch my first glimpse of it from my suburban Adelaide site. That’s assuming a sufficient gap in the clouds. The forecast for the next couple of days is not fantastic. The story was not dissimilar around the time of peak brightness of V0339 Delphini.
What’s interesting is that while there are currently only two observations submitted to the AAVSO International Database, amateurs are already taking spectra. For example, see Malcolm Locke’s initial spectrum. Amateur spectroscopy is certainly on the rise, especially for bright objects with interesting spectral features, e.g. H-α and H-β emission lines (see the two peaks in Malcolm’s spectrum).
First V0339 Delphini, now this! I can hardly contain myself! 🙂
Update: It’s just after midnight and the clouds are thickening, so off to get some sleep.