Jump to content

Stargazers Lounge Uses Cookies

Like most websites, SGL uses cookies in order to deliver a secure, personalised service, to provide social media functions and to analyse our traffic. Continued use of SGL indicates your acceptance of our cookie policy.

PaulB

New Supernova in Messier 101

Recommended Posts

How easy are these to pick up in my scope? I tried tonight for M51 and M101 and the supernovae in both but couldn't spot either (galaxy or supernova).

I haven't attempted them before, should I be able to get them fairly easily?

I found Andromeda Galaxy tonight without a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Under reasonable conditions a 130 mm scope should be able to see both the supernova and M101.

I must be doing something wrong!!

Really desperate to see this,as it would be my first supernova, but I've tried two nights in a row now, and I still can't find it!! Haven't found M101 either. :D

I have an 8" Dob, with an average sky, and don't have difficulty finding other objects of around the same mag, but this is just eluding me!! :(

Maybe I'm trying too hard!! :):icon_scratch:

Vicky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I must be doing something wrong!!

Really desperate to see this,as it would be my first supernova, but I've tried two nights in a row now, and I still can't find it!! Haven't found M101 either. :D

I have an 8" Dob, with an average sky, and don't have difficulty finding other objects of around the same mag, but this is just eluding me!! :(

Maybe I'm trying too hard!! :):icon_scratch:

Vicky.

Ditto Vicky, I really want to see my 1st supernova but couldn't even get M101 last night. There was a bit of cloud last night so perhaps that affected the seeing but it was frustrating. Wish I had a GoTo mount now!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't think a goto maybe the answer - if it was put right in the centre of your field of view you may not see it! M101 although visible in binoculars is of a low surface brightness - not much contrast between the galaxy and background sky.

These things help - dark clear sky, low magnification, and the higher up in the sky the better. I think thats some of the reasons why we are struggling at the moment, michael apart!

Keep searching though!

andrew

Edited by andrew63

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is quite hard to spot. Have you seen my humble finder chart?

You need to make sure you are pointing directly at the core of M101 using a normal sky atlas and then look for the paturn of stars on my finder chart which was made at high power in a 10 inch dob.

The supernova is now the brightest star near the core of M101.

Mark

post-14100-133877655842_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This shows you the exact position of the M101 core and the SN is just below the tip of the pointer to M101...

I am sure you can do it..

Draw what you see in terms of stars and then recheck afterwards like I did..then you will be sure..

Mark

post-14100-133877655853_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great finder chart mark - hoping for a few crisp nights as a lot a haze around for last few days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I showed the supernova to our first-year students last night, and though all could spot the supernova, very few could make out M101. I could, but only a few of those who took time to let their eyes adapt properly could see the galaxy. You really need to be adept at averted vision.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised you found M101 so hard to find. I saw it last winter, probably with my ST102. I don't think I had the 120 at the time. Do you have much light pollution to contend with?

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Low altitude combined with a slight haze was the problem, not LP. When M101 is higher I can spot it through binoculars and the 70mm finder easily.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there's a certain familiarity involved as well. I can spot the Andromeda Galaxy within minutes as I pretty much exactly know where to look. It was my 1st time on M101 on Friday and I didn't know what I was looking for.

Hopefully I'll get another turn soon though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Visually estimated its brightness to be about mag 10.2 now. Do you think that in terms of absolute magnitude it is a particularly bright supernova or are other ones brighter?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think there's a certain familiarity involved as well. I can spot the Andromeda Galaxy within minutes as I pretty much exactly know where to look. It was my 1st time on M101 on Friday and I didn't know what I was looking for.

Hopefully I'll get another turn soon though!

I think you're right. I've said to a number of people that I think one of the "tricks" of finding DSOs is just practising enough that you start to recognise what you're looking for much more quickly.

James

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Visually estimated its brightness to be about mag 10.2 now. Do you think that in terms of absolute magnitude it is a particularly bright supernova or are other ones brighter?

I don't know how this ranks in terms of absolute magnitude but, visually, it's the brightest I've seen. This is my 4th - the others have been mag 12 / 13 but still considered bright ones when they occurred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a go during the last hour or two as the clouds had suddenly cleared to reveal a lovely star-studded sky. There was a slight haze close the horizon, coupled with Leighton Hospital being in that direction, which meant that M101 was completely invisible to my eye through the dob or the binoculars. On a good clear night when the galaxy is higher up it stands out clearly in the eyepiece and can be glimpsed in the binoculars one I am dark adapted.

Evn though the galaxy was a no-show the SN was plain to see once it had been located, I spent a while hopping between the 'scope and the PC indoors to pin it down as I kept confusing myself and pointing the 'scope to the wrong spot. For me there were no other stars visible in the immediate area such as the ones pointed out in MDStuart's map, mag 13 and 14 stars are too faint for the altitude and conditions though I did make out a few mag 11 and 12 stars about 1/2 a degree away from the SN which confirmed I was in the right area.

It is quite noticeable and easy to see with direct vision now, barely any proper dark adaptation is needed, although it's appearance is deceiving, it looks like a SN without a host galaxy as I viewed it and is indistinguishable from a regular star. It is definitely the brightest supernova I have ever seen and I want to see if it will get any brighter.

I failed to spot it in my 15x70 binoculars, it must've been just too faint with all that haze about.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Its position is RA 14:03:05.81, Dec +54:16:25.4.

Can anyone else confirm these co-ordinates as 100% correct?

When I looked it appeared to be very slightly different to this - not by much (about 20% away from that point across the field-of-view at 100x) but enough to be a bit puzzling since I was calibrated perfectly on all surrounding stars.

Does everyone else on SGL who's measured it, agree with this position? - or do you find it a bit off, like me?

rgds,

J.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Skies cleared in Hereford about 10pm (4th Sept) so I was able to set up the 10" to view the SN, Comet etc.

The first point was that I was able to see M101 and the SN in the 80mm finderscope. Looking through the 10" Dob and using the 13mm Ethos I was able to get a reasonable view of the galaxy. I checked the SN and compared it with nearby stars - the closest match was a star determined as 10.25 so Ursa Major's estimate of 10.2 is about right.

Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Skies cleared in Hereford about 10pm (4th Sept) so I was able to set up the 10" to view the SN, Comet etc.

The first point was that I was able to see M101 and the SN in the 80mm finderscope. Looking through the 10" Dob and using the 13mm Ethos I was able to get a reasonable view of the galaxy. I checked the SN and compared it with nearby stars - the closest match was a star determined as 10.25 so Ursa Major's estimate of 10.2 is about right.

Mark

Nice one. I thought it had brightened, but did not have time to compare it to surrounding stars thoroughly (too many first-year students wanting to have a look).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The closest match was a star determined as 10.25 so Ursa Major's estimate of 10.2 is about right.

Mark

It’s a bit difficult to determine the magnitude visually because you have to use averted vision, in exactly the same place on both stars to get a reliable result. Or you could use direct vision, but it gets a bit tricky on dim stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It’s a bit difficult to determine the magnitude visually because you have to use averted vision, in exactly the same place on both stars to get a reliable result. Or you could use direct vision, but it gets a bit tricky on dim stars.

I find I use both averted and direct, ideally by placing the two stars I am comparing at the same distance from the centre of the FOV. I then try to see whether the brightness change I see as I flick back and forth between the two is more or less symmetrical, i.e. if the the appearance "mirrors" as I flick back and forth. I then try to look at the centre of the FOV to judge both in averted vision. The SN is bright enough to be seen in direct vision in my scope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But what of exact positioning folks?

- I'd really like someone to post their own co-ordinate readings - the "official" ones just look off-mark to me...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.