Cassiopeia Observatory logo

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
Temperature: 57°F
Session: 794
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
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
Temperature: 56°F

Comments are welcome using Email. If you are on Twitter you can use the button below to tweet this report to your followers. Thanks.

Previous report

Cassiopeia Observatory Home Page

Back to Top

Copyright ©2015 Michael L. Weasner /