Science: Nova Herculis; Swaseya

Lurking in the upper right corner of the constellation Hercules last month was a nameless 14th-magnitude star far below the limit of naked-eye visibility. Fortnight ago a British amateur saw it in a violent eruption which, because of the star's distance, must have occurred about 1,500 years ago. It was throwing off two shells of tremendously hot gas at 1,000,000 m.p.h. By last week it had jumped 13 magnitudes to the first, acquired a name, Nova Herculis 1934. Its radiation had increased 200,000 times; it was among the twelve brightest stars in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!