V6598 Sagittarii (TCP J17525020-2024150), image and spectroscopy: a classic nova – 16 July 2023

We did follow-up observations of the TCP J17525020-2024150 optical transient reported on July 15, while it was waiting for confirmation, finding from its spectroscopy that it is a classical nova. Now it is classified as V6598 Sagittarii. And we’ve also found pre-discovery data.

TCP J17525020-2024150: 16 July 2023.

TCP J17525020-2024150: 16 July 2023.

Our findings where published on the International Astronomical Union’s Central Bureau Electronic Telegram (CBET) n. 5278, issued by the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams on 17 July 2023.

The image above comes from a single 60-second, R-filtered exposure, remotely taken with the Celestron C14+Paramount ME+SBIG ST8-XME robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project in Manciano, Italy. The transient TCP J17525020-2024150 (now officially named V6598 Sagittarii and confirmed in its nova nature) is clearly visible and we estimated it at R=9.4 (R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR2 star catalogue).

This transient was discovered on 15 July 2023 by A. Pearce, Western Australia. When we imaged it, the nature of the source was still unknown. Serendipitously, we imaged that region the day before, 14 hours earlier, using our large field-of-view astrograph. Unfortunately, that was our first image ever of that region, so we could not compare it with archive images, otherwise we could have discovered it.

TCP J17525020-2024150: prediscovery image - 14 July 2023.

TCP J17525020-2024150: prediscovery image – 14 July 2023.

On July 16 we also managed to use our spectroscopic grating (200 lines/mm) to investigate the nature of this transient, finding it was showing a very strong H-alpha emission, this confirms this is a classical nova.

TCP J17525020-2024150: spectrum with strong H-alpha feature. 16 July 2023.

TCP J17525020-2024150: spectrum with strong H-alpha feature. 16 July 2023.

Spectra were reduced an analyzed using the RSpec software.

We will keep an eye on this nova for the next weeks.

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