Nova in Sagittarius
Posted: 17 March 2015
I woke up early on Tuesday morning, 17 March 2015, as I wanted to try to photograph the newly discovered nova in the constellation of Sagittarius.
Open: Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 0437 MST
Conditions: Clouds in southern sky
I didn't use the 8" telescope for this session. I set up my D7000 DSLR on a photographic tripod on the observatory patio. Sagittarius was visible in the southeast but there were clouds hiding some of the constellation's stars. The nova, magnitude a little brighter than +6, was not visible to the naked eye. At 0445 MST I viewed the nova using my 12x70 binoculars.
I then began preparing to photograph the nova. I first did a focus test on the star Altair using the DSLR lens Bahtinov Mask. This cropped image, f/5.6, 2 seconds, ISO 25600, FL 105mm, shows the in-focus diffraction pattern:
I did several photographs of the constellation Sagittarius using various exposure settings. This f/4.5, 15 seconds, ISO 6400, FL 35mm, shows the nova near the middle of the "teapot". Mouseover or tap on the image to see a marker for the nova.
Mouseover or tap on image to see nova marker
For comparison, this photograph of Sagittarius was taken 7 August 2013 and there is no star at the nova's position:
Cloud cover at Sagittarius began increasing by 0458 MST, so I ended the sky photography.
Close: Tuesday, 17 March 2015, 0507 MST
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