I’ve complained about the dearth of northern novae, but now there’s one shining not exactly bright but still easily observed in Cepheus.
I first heard about the object on the CBAT transients page some six hours after it had been discovered by the japanese nova hunters Koichi Nishiyama and Fujio Kabashima. That was during daytime here in Sweden. I posted a short message on Astronet.
There was no official sequence of comparison stars established yet, so instead I prepared a chart using visual magnitudes from the Tycho catalogue which I manually entered on the chart I had plotted using the AAVSO VSP. Finding the nova was easy: it is close to V Cas which I have observed earlier, so I knew the part of the sky, and I estimated the nova to be magnitude 11.5.
The sky was clear in other parts of Sweden as well, and several fellow Swedish amateurs observed the object on the evening on February 2. Hans Bengtsson observed it from his balcony observatory in central Gothenburg (Hans’ observation is the first, to date, recorded in the AAVSO database), Johan Kärnfelt picked it up with his 16 inch on the island of Brännö as did Robin Andersson with his new 14 inch telescope, while Timo Karhula observed with his 25×100 and Robert Wahlström measured it on CCD images (his three colour measurement in B, V and R, is to date the first multi-colour photometry reported to the AAVSO database). The next day, Tomas Wikander picked it up and Thomas Karlsson has observed it using a remote facility.
Then came the clouds, and neither I nor any other member of SAAF/V has seen the nova since February 3, but I hope to catch sight of Nova Cephei 2013 once more before it gets too faint. By now it has lost about a magnitude and is something like 12.6.