Members of the Practical Astrophysics group in the Na Donskoi Centre of the Vorobyovy Gory Educational Complex were the first in the world to establish the location of astronomical body J1348-630 in the Centaurus constellation.
The new object in the sky was recorded via the 61 cm Japanese MAXI X-Ray telescope. Later it was seen through the Australian 51cm T31 telescope of iTelescope.net. However, nobody succeeded in establishing the location of the source of the X-rays. A determination of the coordinates of objects in this range is highly inaccurate. The margin for error exceeded the diameter of the Moon’s disc. Thousands of stars brighter than the 20th star magnitude and tens of thousands of weaker stars are located in this range.
Guided by teacher Denis Denisenko, the students compared the photos by the Australian telescope and digitised DSS sky records from 1994–1999 and they found the new star. It was not shown on old photos or in the catalogues of variable stars.
A report about this discovery was published at 20:33 Moscow time on 26 January on the Astronomer’s Telegram website, which is viewed by more than 4,500 astronomers all over the world. The report was assigned number 12430, and seven hours later the discovery was confirmed by the Swift Space Observatory.
Denis Vdovin, Ivan Larin, Ivan Spasich and Diego Fernandez Ortiz were the co-authors of the report. They have been involved in astronomy at the Na Donskoi Centre for several years and have made several other discoveries. Assistance was also provided by newcomers Mikhail Yevtushenko, Maxim Komarov and Ivan Kotelnikov. This was their first publication.
The 12th International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) was held in Beijing on 3-11 November 2018. Teams from over 40 countries took part. Muscovites from the Russian team won two gold medals of four and one silver medal. Stanislav Tsapayev was the overall winner. Damir Gasymov won another gold medal and Ivan Starostin won a silver medal for the national team.