Bright Nova in Sagittarius

A bright nova in our local galaxy was discovered on July 7th by Koichi Nishiyama and Fujio Kabashima and has been assigned the preliminary name of PNV J18202726-2744263 or Nova Sagittarii 2012 No. 4. It is currently at magnitude 7.7, putting it well within reach of urban astronomers using only binoculars or small telescopes.

It is located between Sagittarius' teapot's spout and top, so it will be somewhat low on the horizon for mid-latitude northern observers. Add hazy summer nights, light pollution, and an area crowded with lots of Milky Way stars, and you may not find it so easy to locate this nova. To assist you, I've generated a complete set of AAVSO finder charts.


I generated AVSO finder charts at standard scales: A, B, C, D, E, and F. and packaged them as a single file in PDF format. To help you get oriented, on the A chart I've outlined the constellation of Sagittarius and labeled its primary stars. To help you navigate the scale changes from chart-to-chart, I've also labeled a series of star with letter labels. Stars with the same label on different charts are the same star.

As I usually do, the charts are generated with north at the top and east to the left, the normal visual orientation. If you prefer different orientations, you can generate your own using AAVSO's Variable Star Plotter. Enter PNV J18202726-2744263 as the name of the variable star.

I haven't seen this nova yet due to overcast skies. But I hope to see it soon.

The chart of Sagittarius is by IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg), licensed by them for use under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.  The mark indicating Nova Sgr 2012 No. 4 is my addition.