Neutron stars and lower mass white dwarf stars are so dense that they can get closer to any potential companion stars they have than may be healthy for those companions. They literally will strip material off their companions in some cases, and that infalling material, when it gets dense enough, can explode in myriad different ways referred to as novae. Currently, three different novae are visible to small telescopes: V1710 Sco, V6595 Sgr, and V1405 Cas. All three systems appear to be classical novae: they are made up of a white dwarf star – an object about the size of the moon with the mass of the Sun – and a lower mass companion star that is being stripped of material. There is an excellent article on how to find these objects on the Sky & Telescope website, and we will link to that article on DailySpace.org.
Sky & Telescope article