In the constellation of Scorpius, a new star flashed, visible through binoculars

(ORDO NEWS) — The Astroverts team of astronomers, led by Stas Korotkiy, based at the Arkhyz Observatory, reports an outbreak of a repeated nova in Scorpio, U Sco.

During the previous outburst in 2010, the star increased its brightness by 10,000 times. The flare started last night, and this night it can be observed with binoculars from Russia, including from the Moscow region.

You can try to find a flashed star around midnight local time, not high above the southern horizon, above Aldebaran (the brightest star of Scorpio).

At the latitude of the Moscow region at midnight, it rises 16 degrees above the horizon (the width of the fist on an outstretched hand, from the little finger to the index finger, is approximately 8 – 10 degrees), and will be seven degrees above Aldebaran and two degrees to the right of it.

Above 10 degrees, the star is located from about half past nine in the evening until half past three in the morning, but it is better to look for it when it is dark enough and it has not yet begun to dawn.

In the constellation of Scorpius a new star flashed visible through binoculars 1
Map of the search for a new star. The view corresponds to the sky at the latitude of Moscow at local midnight. The top picture is an overview. E – east, S – south, W – west, on the right – the waxing moon. On the lower left is the upper part of the constellation Scorpio and the lower part of the constellation Ophiuchus. Grid scale 5 degrees (10 apparent moon diameters). The arrows tell you how to find the reference star Chi Ophiuchus. In the lower right picture is a photograph of a new star (in a circle) obtained by the Astroverts group. The width of the image is about 4 visible diameters of the Moon (about twice the width of the field of view of an average amateur telescope). The arrows show the stars by which you can navigate; the brightness is about +7 magnitude, the view approximately corresponds to the observation by the eye in an average amateur telescope. To search, it is better to use an interactive starry sky map for a smartphone

The further south, the more favorable the observation conditions: in the southern latitudes, the new star rises higher, and the darkness lasts longer.

If the brightness of the nova reaches +8th magnitude, small binoculars are enough to observe it in a clear sky in the absence of illumination, and in moderate or strong illumination, powerful binoculars, a spyglass or a small telescope with a diameter of 40 to 100 mm (depending on illumination ).

The brightness of the brightest stars in the northern sky is zero magnitude. The limit of visibility for the naked eye with 100% vision far from cities is +6 magnitude, and from +2 to +4 magnitude. in the city (each increase by 1 unit means a decrease in brightness by about 2.512 times).

The brightness of the nova will weaken by about one magnitude per day, and it will be available for observations for several more nights.

What happens in the constellation Scorpio? A massive and dense white dwarf in a close binary system pulls the matter of its companion onto itself. On the surface of the dwarf, the matter is compressed and heated, and from time to time a thermonuclear explosion occurs, which we observe as a flash of a new one.

In the constellation of Scorpius a new star flashed visible through binoculars 2
A binary system of an accreting white dwarf and an outburst companion

The denser and heavier the dwarf, the more often flashes occur and the more likely it is that one such flash will give rise to a supernova (when the reaction occurs in the matter of the white dwarf itself, and it explodes entirely).

The star U Sco flares up once every ten years, and is one of the main candidates for an early outbreak – in the Milky Way, among its hundreds of billions of stars, only ten are known.


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