Archive for the ‘Supernovae’ Category

Supernova ASASSN-15so in Galaxy NGC 3583

December 17, 2015 Leave a comment


The bright spot at the centre of the spiral galaxy NGC 3583 in Ursa Major is the Type Ia supernova ASASSN-15so discovered by the All Sky Automated Survey for Super Novae (ASAS-SN) on 8/11/15. It is currently magnitude 13.7. The faint barred spiral galaxy above and slightly to the right of NGC 3583 is NGC 3577.


Images taken 16/12/15 2.37am New Mexico time on iTelescope.Net T11. Luminance 5 x 300 sec. RA: 11h 14m 12.1s DEC: 48° 19′ 01″ (J2000)


Supernova PSN J07174570 in galaxy NGC 2357

Supernova PSN J07174570 was discovered by T. Noguchi on 2/5/15 in spiral galaxy NGC 2357 in the constellation Gemini. It is a Type Ia supernova and is currently at magnitude 14.2 brightening from the discovery magnitude of 15.7


Image taken 7/5/15 9.21pm New Mexico time (UTC -6) on iTelescope T11 20″ Planewave CDK 508mm and FLI ProLine PL11002M camera. RA: 07h 17m 42.0s DEC: 23° 21′ 00″ (J2000). 5 x 180 sec luminance. Processed in Maxim DL5, DeepSkyStacker 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS2.

Supernova SN2015F in Galaxy NGC 2442 28-3-15

March 28, 2015 Leave a comment


I fancied a change of scenery after all of the recent solar activity of various sorts and ventured south of the equator this time. As many of you who read this blog will know I often like to take images of supernovae which briefly appear in distant galaxies and the current brightest supernova is SN2015F. I reserved some time at the iTelescope Siding Spring observatory in Australia and used their half metre T31 Planewave telescope to capture this image.

Supernova 2015F was discovered on 9/3/15 by Berto Monard. It is a Type Ia currently at magnitude 13.3 and is located within the intermediate spiral galaxy NGC 2442, more commonly known as the Meathook Galaxy, in the constellation Volans (southern hemisphere). The Meathook Galaxy lies 50 million light years away and was first discovered by John Herschel.

Type Ia supernovae are fairly common in galaxies with old star populations and are really useful for determining distances between objects and even the age of the universe. Type Ia’s are the result of a white dwarf star exploding in a binary star system due to complex gravitational interactions between the white dwarf and a much larger companion star. The white dwarf grows to approximately 1.4 times the size of the Sun and then becomes unstable and explodes, destroying the star completely.

Imaged 28/3/15 10.28pm Australia time (11.28am UTC) on iTelescope T31 CDK 500mm Planewave with FLI-PL09000 camera. 3×300 sec, Bin 1, Luminance, RA: 07h 36m 18.0s DEC: -69° 31′ 59″ (J2000). Processed in MaxImDL5, DeepSkyStacker 3 and Photoshop CS2.

New Supernova SN 2014J in Galaxy M82

January 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Discovered on 21/1/14 by Steve J. Fossey when it was at magnitude 11.7 SN 2014J has continued to brighten to about magnitude 10.7. This supernova is a Type Ia-HV (high-velocity) with exploded gases escaping at about 12,400 miles per second. The progenitor star was a white dwarf made of carbon and oxygen, which have now fused into silicon during the explosion.

This is the closest and brightest supernova for the last 21 years and will be visible in 3″ and 4″ amateur telescopes.

Images taken 26/1/14 between 5.23 to 6.07 am New Mexico time on iTelescope T11 (black and white ) and T3 (colour) RA: 09h 55m 54.1s DEC: 69° 40′ 59″ (J2000)

Click on images to enlarge….




Bright NOVA Delphini 2013 in Delphinus !

August 16, 2013 Leave a comment

This new nova was discovered by Koichi Itagaki (Teppo-cho, Yamagata, Japan) on August 14th  at a spectacularly bright magnitude 6.8 ! The nova appears to have brightened even more throughout today (15th) to a possible maximum magnitude of 5.7 – 5.5, which would make it naked eye visible and clearly visible in binoculars. As most novae rarely reach magnitudes greater than 12 this is a rare event. The nova is the bright star at the centre of the image below.

The spectrum of Nova Delphini 2013 suggests this is a classical nova ie. an interacting binary star system in which one star is a dense, hot white dwarf. Material from a cool, giant companion star falls onto the surface of the white dwarf, building up until it triggers a thermonuclear event. The drastic increase in brightness and an expanding shell of debris is the result. Classical novae do not result in an entirely destroyed star, but are instead believed to recur when the flow of material onto the white dwarf resumes and produces another outburst. The speed of material being ejected from this supernova has been calculated at around 1,500 miles per second. The progenitor star may have been around 17th magnitude prior to the outburst.

UPDATE 1 16th August – AAVSO observers are now reporting the magnitude of this nova at around 4.4 – 4.5 This will be readily visible to the naked eye although the moon is currently affecting visibility.

UPDATE 2 17th August 12.30am – Just had a look now and it is very easy to find with the naked eye even though there is low moonlight and cloud around. The constellation Sagitta neatly points the way to it. It looks about magnitude 4.8 to me visually when compared with the nearby star HIP 101867. This seems to match current AAVSO observations which show the nova has started to fade back from a peak 4.5 to mag 4.8

UPDATE 3 18th August – According to AAVSO observer reports the magnitude of the nova appears to have stabilized around mag 5.0 (updated chart below) for now. The peak magnitude of 4.3 was reached on the 16th 16.45 UT. A fast decline was predicted thereafter of about 1 magnitude per day, but this prediction has now been revised. The progenitor star appears to have been mag 16.9 before the outburst.

There are some useful finder charts here for visual observing and here

Image taken 15/8/13  11.43 pm local time on T18 (12.5″ Planewave CDK, KAF-6303E) at Nerpio, Spain. 1 x 60 secs Lum. Processed in Maxim DL5, Photoshop CS2. RA: 20h 23m 30.0s DEC: 20° 46′ 06″ (J2000)

Click image to enlarge:


AAVSO Light Curve:

Nova Del 2013 AAVSO 18-08-13

Categories: Supernovae

Supernova SN 2013ct in galaxy NGC 428

August 13, 2013 Leave a comment

Supernova 2013ct is a Type Ia discovered by Stu Parker (BOSS – New Zealand) on 10/5/13 when it was at it’s peak magnitude of around 12.2.  It has now faded to approx mag 15.4

NGC 428 lies in the constellation Cetus approx. 37 million light years away. The galaxy has a distorted shape perhaps resulting from the collision of two galaxies.

Image taken 12/8/13 4.46 am local observatory time at Nerpio, Spain using remote iTelescope T07 (Planewave 17″ CDK, SBIG STL-11000M ABG). 4 x 300 secs Lum. Processed in Maxim DL5, Adobe Photoshop CS2, DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2

Click image to enlarge:


AAVSO Light Curve:


Supernova SN 2013dy in galaxy NGC 7250

August 6, 2013 Leave a comment

This Type Ia supernova was discovered on 10/7/13 by the Lick Observatory Supernova Search programme and Kuniaki Goto two weeks before it reached it’s peak brightness of around magnitude 12.7 on 25/7/13. The supernova is currently at magnitude 13.0

NGC 7250 (PGC 68535) lies some 55 million light years away and is a rather small object which is difficult to image. It was discovered by William Herschel on November 8th 1790 and is classed as a starburst galaxy.

Image taken 6/8/13 4.18 am local observatory time at Nerpio, Spain using remote iTelescope T07 (Planewave 17″ CDK, SBIG STL-11000M ABG). 4 x 300 secs Lum. Processed in Maxim DL5, Adobe Photoshop CS2, DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2  RA 22 18 17.7, Dec +40 33 47

Click image to enlarge:


AAVSO Light Curve:

Light Curve

Supernova SN 2013ej in galaxy M74

August 4, 2013 Leave a comment

A new Type IIP supernova was discovered in spiral galaxy M74 in the constellation Pisces by the Lick Observatory Supernova Search on 25th July. It has brightened rapidly to around magnitude 12.4 and is visible in 8″ amateur telescopes, but will show up readily in images taken on lower aperture telescopes of 4-6″ under dark and clear skies.

This star was originally a supergiant about 8x the size of the sun before it ran out of fuel to burn, collapsed due to gravitational forces and then exploded into the bright source of light that we can now see. Besides blasting new heavy elements out into space the supernova may leave behind a neutron star, which is the compressed remnant of the stars original core.

Image taken 4/8/13 4.01am local observatory time at Nerpio, Spain using remote iTelescope T07 (Planewave 17″ CDK, SBIG STL-11000M ABG). 5 x 300 secs Lum. Processed in Maxim DL5, Adobe Photoshop CS2, DeepSkyStacker 3.3.2


AAVSO Light Curve:


Bright new Supernova SN2012cg in Galaxy NGC 4424

On May 17th the automated Lick Supernova Search discovered the SN 2012cg supernova in galaxy NGC 4424 in the constellation Virgo. From 18th magnitude it has now brightened to 12.0 and rivals the core of the galaxy for brightness. This exploding star was originally a White Dwarf star equivalent in mass to our own Sun and locked in a binary orbit with a much larger star. It steadily drew matter from this companion star up to a point where it became unstable, collapsed in on itself and exploded, producing what is known as a Type Ia supernova. This spectacular event should be visible in telescopes of 6″ diameter and above.

Image taken Sunday June 11th 00.59 am from Nerpio, Spain with iTelescope T7 Planewave 17″ CDK, SBIG STL-11000M. 300 sec Bin 2. RA: 12h 27m 11.9s DEC: 09° 25′ 01″ (J2000)

Supernova SN 2012aw in M95 (NGC 3351)

March 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Supernova SN 2012aw is a Type IIP and clearly visible in galaxy M95 in the constellation Leo at magnitude 12.7. It was discovered by The Italian Supernovae Search Project on 16/3/2012 and has rapidly brightened from its discovery magnitude of 15. The original star is thought to have been a red supergiant about 8 times more massive than the sun. This star used up all of its nuclear fuel then collapsed in on itself under intense gravitational forces and at speeds approaching 45,00 miles per second. When the outer layers smashed into the core they crushed it and this sent a massive shock wave back out towards the surface, tearing the star apart in the process and creating the bright supernova that we see. The supernova appears to have reached its maximum brightness now and will probably fade over the coming weeks. It can easily be seen in telescopes of 4″ and greater diameters from good observing locations.  Image taken 25/3/12 8.55 local time via T07 in Nerpio, Spain. Planewave 17″ CDK, SBIG STL-11000M, 3 x 300 sec Bin 1. RA: 10h 43m 59.9s DEC: 11° 42′ 00″ (J2000)

Categories: Supernovae