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Paper: The New Milky Way: A Wide–Field Survey of Optical Transients near the Galactic plane
Volume: 490, Stella Novae: Past and Future Decades
Page: 395
Authors: Sokolovsky, K.; Korotkiy, S.; Lebedev, A.
Abstract: Currently, it may take days for a bright nova outburst to be detected. With a few exceptions, little is known about novae behaviour prior to maximum light. A theoretically-predicted population of ultra-fast novae with t2<1d is evading observational discovery because it is not possible to routinely organize fast follow-up observations of nova candidates. With the aim of bringing the detection time of novae and other bright (V<13.5) optical transients from days down to hours or less, we developed an automated wide-field (8°×6°) system capable of surveying the whole Milky Way area visible from the observing site in one night. The system is built using low-cost mass-produced components and the transient detection pipeline is based on the open source VaST software. We describe the instrument design and report results of the first observations conducted in 2011 October–November and 2012 January–April. The results include the discovery of Nova Sagittarii 2012 No. 1 as well as two X-ray emitting cataclysmic variables 1RXS J063214.8+25362 and XMMSL1 J014956.7+533504. The rapid detection of Nova Sagittarii 2012 No. 1 enabled us to conduct its X-ray and UV observations with Swift 22 hours after discovery (∼eq 31 hour after the outburst onset). All images obtained during the transient search survey are available online.
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