• Kyodo

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An amateur astronomer in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, has found a nova in the constellation Sagittarius, it was learned Tuesday.

The International Astronomical Union has recognized his discovery, the astronomer said.

On Friday, Katsumi Haseda, 57, photographed the nova northeast of the center of the constellation in the south-southwestern sky. He has already found three other novas since March 2000.

The discovery of a fourth nova in such a short span of time is rare because only two to three are usually observed in a year. , astronomers said.

“The secret is to keep observing patiently without going to extremes,” Haseda said.

The nova had a magnitude of about 5 on the luminance scale at the time it was photographed. The U.S.-based astronomical union confirmed Haseda’s find Saturday.

A nova is a star that shows a sudden, tremendous increase in brightness, thought to be the result of a surface explosion.

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