History of the "New Star."

The name "new star" is unfortunate as it starts the inquirer on a false track. The object in Perseus is, in all probability, an old star with a new and temporary brilliancy. The star has always existed in its present place in the heavens. Its temporary brilliancy makes it new.

In November, a star of the sort was observed by Tycho Brahe. It was, at first, equal to Jupiter in brightness. For a few days it increased so as to rival Venus, and was visible in the daytime. After some three weeks it began to fade, and by March of 1574 it was no longer visible to the naked eye. In the situation described by Tycho there is now a very faint star visible only in telescopes. To Tycho and his contemporaries this object was a "new" star. They had only catalogued a few of the many stars visible to the naked eye. In a place where there was no star laid down in their catalogues an object suddenly appeared, waxed brilliant, and disappeared utterly.

March 7, 1901

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