When a new star
appeared in the constellation Delphinus late last week,
found its spectrum hinted at the apparition's true nature.
Now known as Nova Delphini, its
visible light spectrum near
is centered in this image of the nearby
star field captured with
telescope on the night of August 16/17 at the
Strong absorption lines due to hydrogen atoms
are seen as the darkest bands in the nova's spectrum, but
the strong absorption lines are bordered along their redward edge by bright
bands of emission.
That pattern is the
of material blasted from
a catalysmic binary system known as
a classical nova.
Other stars in field are fainter, identified by their
catalog numbers, brightness in
By chance, the faint emission line from
planetary nebula NGC 6905
was also included, indicated at the lower right.