GK Persei

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GK Persei
GK Persei: Nova of 1901.
Observation data
Epoch J2000.0      Equinox J2000.0
Constellation Perseus
Right ascension 03h 31m 11.82s[1]
Declination +43° 54′ 16.8″[1]
Apparent magnitude (V) 14.0[2]
Spectral type Be+K2sdI
Radial velocity (Rv)28[3] km/s
Proper motion (μ) RA: -6.015 mas/yr
Dec.: -22.76 mas/yr
Parallax (π)2.097 ± 0.116[4] mas
[4] pc)
Other designations
GK Per, Nova Per 1901, HD 21629, HR 1057, BD+43 740a, 2MASS J03311201+4354154, 1RXS J033111.9+435427[3]
Database references

GK Persei (also Nova Persei 1901) was a bright nova first observed on Earth in 1901. It reached a maximum magnitude of 0.2, the brightest nova of modern times until Nova Aquilae 1918. After fading into obscurity at about magnitude 12 to 13 during the early 20th century, GK Persei began displaying infrequent outbursts of 2 to 3 magnitudes (about 7 to 15 times quiescent brightness). Since about 1980, these outbursts have become quite regular, typically lasting about two months and occurring about every three years. Thus, GK Persei seems to have changed from a classical nova like Nova Aquilae 1918 to something resembling a typical dwarf nova-type cataclysmic variable star.

Surrounding GK Persei is the Firework nebula, a nova remnant first detected in 1902 consisting of an expanding cloud of gas and dust bubbles moving up to 1200 km/s.[5]

Nova Persei 1901 was discovered 21 February by Scottish clergyman Thomas David Anderson.[6]

Popular culture[edit]

This nova figures in the plot of H. P. Lovecraft's short story "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".


  1. ^ a b Downes, Ronald; Webbink, Ronald F.; Shara, Michael M. (April 1997), "A Catalog and Atlas of Cataclysmic Variables-Second Edition", Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 109: 345–440, Bibcode:1997PASP..109..345D, doi:10.1086/133900
  2. ^ van Altena, William F.; Lee, J.T.; et al. (1995). The general catalogue of trigonometric [stellar] parallaxes. Bibcode:1995gcts.book.....V.
  3. ^ a b "V* GK Per". SIMBAD. Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b Harrison, Thomas E.; et al. (2013). "Hubble Space Telescope Fine Guidance Sensor Parallaxes for Four Classical Novae". The Astrophysical Journal. 767 (1). 7. arXiv:1302.3245. Bibcode:2013ApJ...767....7H. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/767/1/7. S2CID 118376206.
  5. ^ "NOAO". Retrieved 22 June 2008.
  6. ^ GK Persei

External links[edit]