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This great answer about the US Naval Observatory's $3,500 expedition to Baker City Oregon to observe the June 8, 1918 total solar eclipse links to the January 1919 Popular Astronomy article about the expedition. The article notes on page 6 the following coincidental observation:

An interesting occurrence was the appearance of the brilliant new star in Aquila. This was seen by Mr. Peters and Mr. Conrad on the night of June 8 and the discovery was communicated by telegram to various observatories in the country. It had however been discovered earlier on the same night by other astronomers in the east.

What is the story behind this bright new star in Aquila? What was it? Who discovered it first?

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It was Nova Aquilae 1918. Wikipedia has some detail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V603_Aquilae Apparently it was discovered by Zygmunt Laskowski, an amateur astronomer.

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    $\begingroup$ Thanks! Wow this seems to be a fairly remarkable nova. cf 1, 2, 3, 4. All the articles are open access - maybe you could add a light curve or some other detail beyond a Wikipedia link? Just a thought. Thanks for the speedy answer! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 30 '17 at 7:53
  • $\begingroup$ Well, I'll figure out a follow-up question for it then. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 3 '17 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ @uhoh - there's about 5 pages on this object in vol 2 of Annals of the Deep Sky (including a light curve), so it's hard to know where to start. Its magnitude peaked at -1.4, having been 10.5 before the outburst. By 25 June it was mag 3. In the 1960s it was realised that it was a close binary system. $\endgroup$ – Dr Chuck Aug 3 '17 at 15:41
  • $\begingroup$ Ya I'm starting to read more about this object now. You are right there is a whole bunch of interesting things to say about this object, but it doesn't really fit as part of an answer here. I'll read some more and see where it takes me. Thanks! $\endgroup$ – uhoh Aug 3 '17 at 18:31

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