I read reports of a nova in the constellation Aquila yesterday. Last night I got a single two minute exposure of the region with the Nikon D80 at prime focus of the 80mm refractor.
The diagonal line is a trail from a passing satellite. In this picture the nova appears a bit brighter than the magnitude +11.9 star right next to it.
A nova is a white dwarf star undergoing a cataclysmic nuclear explosion on its surface. They are caused by a build up of hydrogen poured onto it by an orbiting star. Novae are less powerful than their more famous counterparts supernovae and the explosion doesn't destroy the white dwarf. The constellation Aquila, with the rich, deep starfields of the Milky Way, has had novae within its borders in the past. In fact the brightest nova of the 20th century occurred not far from this part of the sky in 1918.
Dr Adrian Jannetta
Guitar strummin' explorer of the universe. Mild mannered maths teacher by day and astronomer by night.