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Object description
The nova RS Ophiuchus in the constellation of the Serpent Bearer - 11 August 2021

Short objekt description:

During our stay in 2021, there was a brightness burst of the star RS Ophiuchus in August. It was discovered on 8 August by Irish amateur astronomer Keith Geary. Three days later the news reached us and on the evening of 11 and 12 August we managed to capture some raw images of the nova. The transparency of the sky was extremely poor by Namibian standards and the Milky Way was barely visible to the naked eye due to many bush fires in the area. The brightness of the nova was about 5th magnitude on both nights.

RS Ophiuchi is a so-called recurrent nova in the constellation of the Serpent Bearer. In the normal phases the apparent brightness is about the 12.5 magnitude class. In 1898, 1933, 1958, 1967, 1985, 2006 and August 2021, brightness bursts occurred up to 4.5 magnitudes. This corresponds to an increase of 600 times the luminosity. The distance of RS Ophiuchus to the solar system is about 6500 light years.

RS Ophiuchi belongs to the symbiotic stars, which means that it is a double star system consisting of a white dwarf and a red giant star. The white dwarf star sucks gas from the red giant due to its strong gravitation. After about 20 and 30 years, enough matter has accumulated to ignite a thermonuclear explosion under the strong gravity of the white dwarf.
The following image shows a 2-segment mosaic of the nova together with the two globular clusters Messer 14 and NGC 6366. The raw images were taken on 11.08.2021 and each segment was exposed for 9 x 300 seconds. The camera used was a Canon EOS 60DA (uncooled) at 800 ASA together with a Canon USM telephoto lens, f = 200mm/f4. Load large images: 1800 x 1200 Pixel      2800 x 1800 Pixel

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