March 19, 2008: The intense gamma-ray burst GRB 080319B was detected in gamma ray, x-ray, optical light, and early indications by two automated cameras suggest that the optical afterglow of the burst may have briefly reached naked-eye visibility (mag ~ 5.76, GCN 7445, Cwiok et al) within 60 seconds of the onset. It is highly unlikely the burst was caught visually, but it is possible the burst may have been detected if any observers were monitoring this area of the sky (e.g. for minor planet searching).
Nova Delphini 2013 (also named V339 Del) is the biggest cosmic event in variable star astronomy this year, and this naked-eye nova is providing the community a wealth of new data on this important class of objects. The amateur astronomical community has made an enormous contribution of data for Nova Del so far, and now is a good time to review all that's happened so far in this nova outburst, and how the amateur community has played a role.