Very bright optical transient near the Trifid and Lagoon Nebulae
ATel #11448; Peter Dunsby (University of Cape Town)
on 20 Mar 2018; 09:14 UT
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Referred to by ATel #: 11449
Peter Dunsby (University of Cape Town) reports the detection of a very bright optical transient in the region between the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulae based on observations obtained from Cape Town on 20 March 2018, between 01:00 and 03:45 UT.
The object was visible throughout the full duration of the observations and not seen when this field was observed previously (08 March 2018).
The optical transients is at least first magnitude and is located at the following coordinates:
RA (2000): 18h 04m 50s
Declination (2000.0): -23d 29m 58s
The coordinates are accurate to a few arcseconds. There is no obvious counterpart at this position on the Digital Sky Survey plates.
Observations were obtained using an 80mm refractor. The attached URL show the image of this field (2.3 x 1.7 degrees, plate scale of 9 arcseconds per pixel) on 20 March 2018. The optical transient is the brightest star in the field.
Further observations are strongly encouraged to establish the nature of this very bright optical transient.