DQ Herculis

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This article refers to Nova Herculis 1934. Information on the star DQ Herculis is also here. For the type of cataclysmic variable star known as DQ Herculis variables, see intermediate polars
DQ Herculis

DQ Herculis
Observation data
Epoch J2000      Equinox J2000
Constellation Hercules
Right ascension 18h 07m 30.25s
Declination +45° 51′ 32.6″
Apparent magnitude (V) 15.16
Spectral type DBe+M2V
Variable type DQ Herculis
Radial velocity (Rv) -4 km/s
Parallax (π) -5 ± 11 mas
Distance 316.2 ly
(97 pc)
Absolute magnitude (MV) 12.99
Mass 0.7/0.4 M
Radius 0.012/0.44 R
Luminosity 0.0064/0.03 L
Temperature 14,500/3,500 K
Period (P) 0.0002 yr
Semi-major axis (a) 0.003 Astronomical Units"
Inclination (i) 81.7°
Other designations
NOVA Her 1934, CDS 959, PLX 4164, 1SWASP 180730.28+455131.9, AN 452.1934, GCRV 10587, 2RXP J180730.0+455136, DQ Her, CSI+45-18061, 2MASS J18073024+4551325, SBC7 665, AAVSO 1804+45
Database references

DQ Herculis (or Nova Herculis 1934) was a slow, bright nova occurring in Hercules in December 1934. The nova was first observed on 13 Dec, 1934, reaching a peak brightness with an apparent magnitude 1.5 on 22 Dec, 1934.[1] The nova remaining visible to the naked eye for several months.[2] With the use of a modest telescope, the nova was observable for significantly longer.

DQ Herculis is the prototype for a category of cataclysmic variable stars called intermediate polars. The system shows orbital period variation, likely due to the presence of a third body.[3]

Substellar companion[edit]

Dai & Qian (2009) invoke the presence of a third object to explain orbital period variations observed in the dwarf nova. If the third body is confirmed, it would likely turn out a brown dwarf companion.

In Popular Culture[edit]

The nova was one of the brightest objects observable in the night sky. In addition to scientific articles, and received significant coverage in popular news publications.[4][5] Brad Ricca, an English professor at Case Western Reserve University, has suggested that Nova Herculis may have influenced the development of the origin story of the comic book superhero Superman.[6]


  1. ^ Wright, W. H. (1935). "Comments on Nova Herculis 1934". Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. 47 (275): 47–49. Bibcode:1935PASP...47...47.. doi:10.1086/124534. 
  2. ^ "Nova Herculis, Discovered in December 1934, Varies From First to Thirteenth Magnitudes--Now Fading, About Sixth". 1935-12-07. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  3. ^ Dai & Qian; Qian, S. B. (2009). "Plausible explanations for the variations of orbital period in the old nova DQ Herculis". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 503 (3): 883–888. Bibcode:2009A&A...503..883D. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/200810909. 
  4. ^ Waldemar Kaempffert (1934-12-23). "The Week In Science: STAR OF BETHLEHEM A NOVA?; Recent Brilliant Outburst Recalls the Orb the Magi Followed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  5. ^ "Science: Nova Herculis; Swaseya". Time. 1934-12-31. Retrieved 2013-08-08. 
  6. ^ "Superman's Origins Possibly Born from Star Explosion". 2013-07-12. Retrieved 2013-08-07. 

External links[edit]