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Nova Aquilae 1999 No. 2

December 19, 1999 - On December 1st, while sweeping the Milky Way with his 14 x 100 binoculars, amateur nova hunter Alfredo Pereira of Cabo Da Roca, Portugal, found a 6th-magnitude star 2 degrees north-northwest of Delta Aquilae where none had been before. The Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams in Cambridge, Massachusetts, obtained quick confirmation from several other observers and late on December 1st issued IAU Circular 7323 announcing the discovery of Nova Aquilae 1999 No. 2 (V1494 Aquilae). 

Over the course of the next week, Nova Aquilae faded to 6th magnitude, down from its peak of magnitude 4.1 on December 3rd. The "new" star is 2 degrees north-northwest of Delta Aquilae at R.A. 19h 23m 05s, Dec. +4 deg. 57' 20" (equinox 2000.0). The constellation of Aquila is still visible to Northern Hemisphere observers in the west-southwest right after dark. 

Hawaiian amateur Mike Linnolt would like interested observers to submit their magnitude estimates so he can update his light curve on a real-time basis. Mike observed the nova on the evening of December 10, and noticed that it seems to have dropped less in brightness than expected! Such activity may be indicative of something unusual happening with the nova.

Mike reports that he has received many visitors, based on links from the AAAA page. One person has submitted a magnitude estimate, and several have provided useful feedback, to improve it. As a result of these efforts, Mike now has the best light curve of Nova Aquilae on the internet!

On December 18, Mike reported that the nova had been active over the previous 48 hours. After remaining fairly constant around mag 6-6.5 for 5 days, he observed that it suddenly dropped below 7th mag. He says he missed observations on December 17 due to local fog, so it is unclear when the sharp drop occurred during the previous two days.

Visit Mike Linnolt's Astronomy News Page to view an up-to-date light curve of Nova Aquilae, and submit your observations to Mike via e-mail to ah6l@qsl.net

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