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Nova Persei 1901 (GK Persei)

In 1901 this impressing nova occured, which for a short while could keep up with the brightest stars in the sky. In less than two days the star increased its brightness 10 000 times.
The double star GK Persei is an unusual nova star. Both partners are relative far away from each other, which makes a flowing of matter from the bigger partner to the white dwarf (B) difficult. Admittedly the bigger star (A) is about to leave the main sequence and therefore increases its diameter.

Today there are still every 3-4 years mini-novae at which the star increases its brightness by only ten times. The so called Firework Nebula, a remnant from 1901, has an expansion speed of 1200 km/s.

Constellation: Perseus
Distance: 1533 light-years
Orbit period of GK Persei A and B: 1.996803 days
Spectral class von GK Persei A: K2
Visual magnitude: 13.1 normal - 0.2 as nova
Mass des Nebels: 0.0001 * Sun
Diameter des Nebels: 0.7 light-years

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    Nova Persei
The Firework Nebula and GK Persei A in the center.
Photo: NOAO/AURA/NSF

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