Sky Watchers Can See an Exploding Star Flicker Back to Life This Week

Tuesday, 07 April 2015 - 1:03PM
Astronomy
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 - 1:03PM
Sky Watchers Can See an Exploding Star Flicker Back to Life This Week
Astronomers will have a rare chance to observe an exploding star this week, as a spectacular nova first observed last month will flicker back to life, visible to backyard astronomers starting just before dawn each night. It can be found in the constellation Sagittarius the Archer, just west of Saturn and the constellation Scorpius.

Sky Watchers Can See an Exploding Star Flicker Back to Life This Week

[Credit: Sky and Telescope]



The nova, dubbed PNV J18365700-2855420, was first spotted by amateur astronomer John Seach on March 15 of this year. It increased in brightness and visibility, only to fade once again into obscurity, reaching a magnitude of 6. But over the last week and a half, the exploding star has started to glow, and is once again visible to a backyard telescope for the rest of this week.

Sky Watchers Can See an Exploding Star Flicker Back to Life This Week

[Credit: Remanzacco Observatory]



In order to find this nova, National Geographic recommends that you begin the search shortly before dawn, zeroing in on the Scorpius and Sagittarius constellations to the Southeast. As can be seen in the starchart below, the nova is part of a distinctive "teapot" stellar pattern that is relatively easy to spot. The nova lies comfortably within the "teapot," just below the triangular "lid."

Sky Watchers Can See an Exploding Star Flicker Back to Life This Week

[Credit: Andrew Fazekas/National Geographic]

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