Last year, a new nova was discovered, and astronomers turned their telescope to it to see what they could discover. Among those were the telescopes of the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA) array at Mt. Wilson in California.
Prof John Monnier heads the team that built the Michigan Infra Red Beam Combiner, or MIRC. MIRC takes the images from the six telescopes at CHARA and combines them into one extra sharp and detailed image. The result is the sharpest image of a nova ever recorded. Astronomers were not only able to see the expanding shell of gas, they were able to measure it, and determine that it really isn't perfectly round. It's the first good test of their models of how novae behave.