New Mira-type star discovered !
This news comes in a little late, however hopefully still in time to make some follow-up measurements.
On the night of 19th and 21st June, 2012, I was attempting to image Pluto. While I compare it with DSS image to locate Pluto, I was able to make my first (accidental) celestial discovery (first amateur discovery from India in all likelihood, and no doubt Her first CCD discovery, which has also been the quickest - at just the 21st day of usage since its purchase 6 months ago). I thought its a bright nova due to inexperience in the field of variable stars. I have been a very active visual DSO observer and visual comet chaser for past few years.
Placed just 1 arc minute away from Pluto, I was astonished to see such a bright new "Nova" which I visually estimated at ~11.5 mag. I did also check with AAVSO chart plotter but didnt see anything at the source position. I contacted a virtual friend of mine, the legendary Dr. Alan Hale (of comet Hale Bopp fame) and he was able to quickly make a visual estimate at 13.5 mag on 23rd night. I shot an email to CBAT on 23rd June, awaiting them to put it up on their TOCP page as a new Nova candidate. However after an aggreviating wait of few days I got to see something by them; it turns out to be a "previously unreported Mira variable star". The reason why it appears bright in my image is it was taken unfiltered, as it was a routine imaging session. The background source is ~17th magnitude IRAS 18322-1921. The coordinates of this object are - RA 18* 35' 10" / DEC -19* 19' 31".
Coincidentally the bright new Nova was discovered just 10 degrees away from my object on 26th of June!
I sincerely hope the variable star experts here can make follow up measurements of this source, which still should be quite bright. I havent taken an image after 23rd June, since this part of south India is notorious for being clouded most year round, pre and post monsoons.
Amar A. Sharma
off Bangalore, India
+12* 36' / 77E 43'