There’s a new star in town, and I’m not talking about a sheriff.
On August 14th amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki discovered a new star! It is actually so bright you should be able to see it with binoculars, and possibly the naked eye if you live in an area with dark skies.
The nova, named Nova Delphini 2013, is believed to be a classical nova from the observations of its spectrum. A classical nova occurs when a cooler red giant star releases some of its material to a white dwarf companion star. The material continues to build up onto the white dwarf, and eventually a thermonuclear nuclear event occurs. The below image is an artists conception of this type of event occurring in the binary star system RS Ophiuchi.