Saturday, August 17, 2013

Nova Delphini and the Moon

A nova was discovered by Koichi Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, on August 14. Because of clouds, I couldn't get it's picture until August 16. The above image shows the nova in the constellation Delphinus. Another constellation, Sagitta (the Arrow) appropriately points to the new star.

A nova is usually a White Dwarf that has a close orbiting companion star that is dumping hydrogen onto the surface of the White Dwarf. After many layers of hydrogen accumulate, the bottom layer explodes in a runaway hydrogen-fusion reaction.

I used my Canon 4ti at ISO 800 and my 70-200mm f/2.8 Canon lens set at 70mm. Twenty exposures, each 15 seconds long. Tracking was done with my new iOptron SkyTracker.

I couldn't help but to take an image of the gibbous moon sitting close by the nova. The same equipment was used, but the exposure was much shorter and I zoomed the lens up to 200mm. Exposure was 1/200 at f/8, ISO 200.

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