V1500 Cyg (Nova Cygni 1975)

The spectacular nova V1500 Cygni burst into the evening sky on August 29, 1975, disrupting the familiar outline of the Northern Cross. Many independent visual discoveries of this magnificent nova were made, particularly Minoru Honda from Kurashiki, Japan, who first discovered the nova at a visual magnitude of 3.0 on August 29th. The nova soared to a peak magnitude of 2.0 the next day, then rapidly faded down 3 mags. in three days, descending a total of 7 mags. in 45 days!

FH Ser (Nova Serpentis 1970)

FH Ser was discovered visually on its rise to maximum by Minoru Honda of Kurashiki, Japan, who observed it at visual magnitude 7.0 on 1970 February 13.860 UT . Honda observed it again two days later, and by this time the nova had brightened to magnitude 5.0. By February 18th it reached its visual maximum of approximately 4.4. A few days later the nova began to fade, at first slowly and then more rapidly with an abrupt drop of 4.4 magnitudes in 45 days (7.4 to 11.8 mag. from April 15 to May 30).

The Nova/Supernova Award

At the Annual Meeting in October, 1928, a Nova Award Medal was instituted to encourage and recognize the visual discoverers of novae. The Medal was not restricted to members of the AAVSO, but it would be awarded to the original discoverer of a nova by direct visual methods. Initially, the medals were made of gold and were donated by AAVSO member and jeweler, David B. Pickering. The Nova Award Medal was discontinued, and the Nova Award Plaque was awarded in its place on subsequent occasions. This award is also awarded to the visual discoverer of supernova.