Wednesday 7 April 2021

Joseph Baxendell and Nova Bootes 1860


Joseph Baxendell and Nova  Bootes 1860

On April 10th and 11th 1860 Joseph Baxendell at Mr Worthington’s observatory at Crumpsall Old Hall in Manchester using a 5 inch refractor, made the only definite observations of this enigmatic object. I do not know if this instrument was a Cooke or not.

He saw the nova at magnitude 9.75, by April 22nd it had fallen to magnitude 12.8, the following night it could not be seen with Mr Worthington’s 13 inch reflector.

Various other astronomers including Friederich Winnecke, Edward Pickering, Ernest Harding and Ernst Zinner searched for the star but without success.

Granting the reality of this object, the nova appears to have had an amplitude of at least 7 magnitudes, and an unusually rapid decline of about a magnitude in 4 days.

This strange star was given the designation of T Bootes

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