Star witnessed by astronomers in the sky in 1670 was not a nova, but collision of two stars

March 24, 2015 9:13 AM

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That was the conclusion of space scientists who used the APEX telescope and the Submillimeter Array and the Effelsberg radio telescope to watch the Nova Vulpeculae 1670 which European astronomers saw in the sky in 1670: it was not a nova, but a collision of two stars – visible with the naked eye when it occurred 340 years ago, but its traces could only be seen now with powerful submillimeter telescopes.

Hevelius, a 17th century astronomer and the father of lunar cartography said the appearance of the new star in the sky in 1670 was a nova sub capite Cygni – meaning a new star below the head of a Swan; and Cassini equally agreed with him on this score. But now it is known as Nova Vulpeculae 1670, th...

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