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The fifth star discovery made in five months has occurred at the University Astronomical Observatory. Miss Ida E. Woods of the Observatory staff has detected another "nova" from the examination of photographic plates.
The peculiar thing about this discovery is that the star which Miss Woods found is now invisible. It first appeared in April, 1917, attained its maximum brilliance of 6.5 magnitude on April 25 of that year, fluctuated in brightness until August, and later disappeared. It was discovered in the comparison of old and new photographic plates, a process regularly pursued at the Observatory for the sake of recording changes in the heavens. Usually discoveries are made on new plates. This time, when the new plate was superimposed on the old it was found that a star recorded on the old plate did not appear on the new. A thorough subsequent search of other plates brought out the fact that it was a nova which had flourished in 1917 and had not been found at that time at any astronomical observatory.
Discoveries Cause Much Speculation.
The position of the new star is given as R. A. 16 hrs., 48 m., 24s.; declination minus 29 deg., 27.8 m. (1900).
All the five new stars discovered in the past five months have been located in a certain part of the Milky Way between R. A. 16 hrs., 48 m., and 20 hrs., 3 m., although no special care has been taken in the examination of that region. Furthermore, they have all been of approximately the same maximum magnitude. This similarity in position and size has caused much speculation. The officials of the University Observatory have, however, advanced no theory to account for it.
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