1st January 2018

No more brightening seen in AT 2017ixr

On 31st December 2017 the expected recurrent nova M31 2008-12a came to life.
Two factors conspired to stop me seeing it: cloud plus the fact that I was away from home.

On 1st January I took images of the area, hampered by a full Moon - a Supermoon no less.
The images were disappointing. Almost nothing visible using my equipment.

5th January

Recurrent nova M31N 2008-12a now faded beyond detection.

Object AT 2017ixr is dimmer. Not much scope for further spectroscopy.

6th January

AT 2017ixr
Magnitudes averaged for each day. Dimming continues.

Orion is getting to a favourable position.
This is a quick image with luminance filter of M42.

7th January

When I stacked two images of part of M31 I noticed two short lines.
I guessed it was probably an asteroid.
A search on the Minor Planet Centre site showed it to be asteroid 4435 Holt.

13th January

Steve Williams has obtained another spectrum of AT 2017ixr (discovered in December 2017).
Whereas before the spectrum was inconclusive, it is now exhibiting classic nova attributes.
Atel #11162 has been published.

The first spectrum (2017 Dec 27) shows narrow Hα emission on a blue continuum. In the second spectrum (2018 Jan 12) significant evolution is seen. The Hα emission has strengthened with respect to the continuum, with Hβ and Hγ now also detected. The spectrum also shows a number of Fe II lines, including the 42, 48, 49 and 74 multiplets. These emission lines are narrow, with Hα FWHM < 1,000 km/s.

We also obtained photometry of AT 2017ixr with the IO:O CCD camera on the LT and measure it at V = 17.42 +/- 0.01 on 2017 Dec 27.91 and V = 18.65 +/- 0.02 on 2018 Jan 12.84 UT.

These observations confirm AT 2017ixr is a classical nova eruption in M31 and a member of the Fe II spectroscopic class.

Latest light curve:

17th January

The Southern Hemisphere reported a nova in the constellation Musca.
Details here
I use the Siding Spring telescope T13 to get 8x120 seconds, colour ccd.

Nova in image centre:

20th January

Nova AT 2017ixr continues to dim. Magnitude now below 19