Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN)
The MAXI Mission Team found a new X-ray celestial body by the Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) installed on the Exposed Facility of the Japanese Experiment Module "Kibo" on October 17 (Sun.) This is the second nova discovery by the MAXI following the finding of MAXI J1659-152 on September 25 (Sat.).
The nova emerged in Centaurs became brighter around October 17, but, as it was still dark, we took a few days to analyze observation data, then reported its location information to the world at around 8:00 p.m. on Oct. 20 (Wed., Japan Standard Time) through the Astronomer's Telegram (ATel No.2959.) Upon receiving this report, NASA's astronomical satellite "Swift" (*1) conducted an urgent "target-of-opportunity" observation from midnight October 21 (JST.) As a result, the nova was confirmed to be a unprecedented bright X-ray source. It is predicted to be highly possible that the nova is either a neutron star with a companion star of a massive star which exists extremely far away, over several ten thousands light-years, in the Galaxy, or a black hole.
With the discovery this time, the MAXI proved its capability of discovering a X-ray nova existing far away in the Galaxy. The MAXI team will continue its observations in cooperation with the Swift satellite to elucidate more details of this nova. It is named "MAXI J1409-619."
*1 Gamma-ray burst observation satellite launched on Nov. 20, 2004.