Galactic nova ASASSN-17hx at its maximum? New images from 27 and 28 July 2017

Perhaps we are there: the galactic nova ASASSN-17hx might be sitting right now on its maximum of light, after a long and slow rising march, but faster these last nights. Here they are our latest CCD images, showing it at mag. 8.0 these last two nights.

Galactic nova ASASSN-17hx in Scutum: 27 (up) and 28 (down) July 2017

Galactic nova ASASSN-17hx in Scutum: 27 (up) and 28 (down) July 2017

Both the images in the panel above come for the average of five, 5-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The image scale is 1.2″/pixel. The object is marked with two red lines, in the center. Further details are on the image.

On both nights, ASASSN-17hx was found at mag. 8.0 (unfiltered, R-mags for the reference stars from UCAC-4), while on July 26 it was 0.1 mags fainter. Perhaps, this is an indication the transient has finally reached its peak. As commented by Dr. Taichi Kato (Kyoto University), this object seems to resemble the very slow nova V723 Cas (Nova Cas 1995). Visually, this nova should be at mag. 8.5 (check AAVSO for updates). This is your time to see it with extremely modest equipment: we have some useful star charts to find this nova, which could start fading soon. Or not? Of course we will have a look tonight!

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