22 May 2016

Alert | Nova discovered in the Large Magellanic Cloud

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ASTRO-PHOTOGRAPHERS in the southern hemisphere are encouraged to take images of the Large Magellanic Cloud to record a new nova that flared up on 10 May.

The Large Magellan Cloud is at the centre of attention as astronomers are observing a brightening Nova discovered at RA 05h 10m 32.58s DEC -69d 21m 30.4s. The Nova was at Mag 12 on 10 May, and Mag +11.6 on 13 May.

The Nova, known as MASTER OT J051032.58-692130.4 is of great interest because the Progenitor star was reportedly showing a 2.65 day eclipse-like period. It had the mean magnitude of  +20.64 and colour (V-I) = 0.27 mag. Such a period is unusually long for a classical nova system and makes one suspect a nova in a symbiotic binary (a so called vampire star) or even a V1309 Sco-like stellar merger event. Apart from the suggested eclipsing binary progenitor, observed properties of the nova so far are consistent with a classical nova outburst.

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