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PaulB

New Supernova in Messier 101

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Going by your estimation of its position then I am pretty sure i did see it.

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I decided to take a break from comet Garradd and try to catch the supernova in Ursa Major. It wouldn't be easy. Last Friday night was clear enough, but the Big Dipper was in my most light polluted area of the sky. On top of this, there was a very bright gibbous moon laughing over my shoulder! Everything was against me. The SN is in the galaxy M101, which I can't remember ever looking at it.

I started off by taking "search images" with my little 5mp Sony DSC F-707. I couldn't see anything at first against the bright 25x eyepiece field. After digging out my pocket star maps and ever so carefully star hopping to M101's vicinity, my luck had turned! Ever so faint in the center of the eyepiece, visible only in the Sony's latest image, was the central core of M101. I then switched out the DSC for my DSLR, a Canon T1i, and imaged one shot after the other.

Bill

Note:The Supernova is embedded in one of the spiral arms of M101 (The Pinwheel Galaxy). These photos, due to conditions , show only the galaxy's central core, the spiral arms are not visible.

The faint comet-looking smudge in the middle is the center of M101. SN 2011fe is at the 4 o'clock position from

the galaxy core, or photo center. It is bright at 10th magnitude.

9/9/11, 2215hrs. EDT. Canon T1i, ISO 1600, 74 seconds, Tungsten WB, Afocal through a 40mm EP. Antares

152mm refractor.

m101sncanon0346.jpg

Enlargement from above image. Note the SN sits between 2 stars.

The one at the 7 o'clock position from the SN is 13.77 mag., and

the one at the 2 o'clock position is 13.65.

m101sncropcanon0346.jpg

This map shows galaxy boundaries. Brighter stars at left were used to

ID the star field. Within the boundary line, at 7 o'clock, a small triangle of

stars points to four stars arcing upward towards the right. The SN, shown

on map, is between the upper 3rd and 4th stars.

supernovam101.jpg

Edited by wcgucfa

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Thank you, Michael. We've got some clear cool weather coming

for the weekend here in New England, so I'm looking to get a comparison,

darker background, image.

I also want to hook on to Comet Garradd again!

I love these transient events!!!

Bill

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Tonight, I was able to get an astonishing view of the SN2011fe supernova in M101.

I was really chuffed because, considering that my scope is only 4,5" aperture, the SN was actually quite bright and distinct and, being able to see the M101's core as well, it was nice to see how the supernova outshines the entire galaxy, visually at least.

So that's a tick for my very first supernova observation, and what a sight it was!!!

I really wasn't expecting to see anything of the SN now that it dimms, not to mention the galaxy itself, being that low in the sky and with the Moon crawling in.

Admittedly, the instructions from the by Eyes on the Sky video on how tho find the M101 SN and Stellarium helped enormously.

Furthermore, before the clouds rolled in, the seeing conditions were suprisingly stable so I decided to try and do a star collimation, on Vega in my case.

I have to say, I find it to be the most accurate, easy and suprisingly the quickest way to collimate my scope I have tried so far, as I do not posses a collimator. I used 150x magnification and after I got the Vega's defraction rings perfectly symmetrical, the resulting image was crisp-sharp!! Something I have never before experienced with my scope!! Perfect!! :)

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This is a quick post, but I was very pleased last night that the sky cleared. I am a star hopper (no go-to mount) by

choice and wanted to check on SN 2011fe after not seeing it for more than a week.

My method is to search and find dim objects, in this case the M101 field, by using my point and shoot camera. When

the proper field is found I switch to a better camera.

Very happy that the SN is still nice and bright, even with the DSC (Digital Snapshot Camera) I send the following image.

I haven't had the time to check the images on the DSLR. If they are O.K., I'll post those later.

09/18/2011. 2038hrs EDT. Sony DSC F-707. Single unprocessed frame. 30 seconds, ISO 400. Tungsten WB to

counter light pollution. Magnification 25x. Afocal, 152mm Antares refractor. M101 core and SN are just left of center.

dsc00117z.jpg

Got a shot of Comet Garradd while I was out! It's doing well too! Same camera and conditions, except less LP

in this part of the sky. 25x magnification. Single 30 second exposure.

dsc00123umz.jpg

Edited by wcgucfa

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i love these Afocal images of yours Bill - hoping to see one of the close encounter with M92!

andrew

Edited by andrew63

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Does this sound like it with an 8 inch dob?

A faint long oval smudge form bottom left to top right in the E/P, with a bright ish star at each end of the oval? ( one of these the sn, praps?)

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Is this SN still brightening? and is there a prediction for how long its going to be around? I'm hoping its still there when i get home. I haven't seen a star (including the sun or the moon since 25th August....

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I think it is dimming slightly (10.35 vs 9.9 at peak, I think). Typical decay rates of Type Ia SN are between 0.15 and 0.2 mag per day, so if the decay slope has set in, it should hit 11.4 in a week or less. That is still visible in modest scopes (in ideal conditions, I should easily go beyond 13, with my 8").

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Michael, thanks for magnitude estimate, as I called it at 10.2, using

background star comparison on the 9/18. Also the decay rate is handy.

Bill

9/18/2011 T1i Canon, 74 seconds. Not much change in magnitude.

sn2011sept18canonimg036.jpg

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I think it is dimming slightly (10.35 vs 9.9 at peak, I think). Typical decay rates of Type Ia SN are between 0.15 and 0.2 mag per day, so if the decay slope has set in, it should hit 11.4 in a week or less. That is still visible in modest scopes (in ideal conditions, I should easily go beyond 13, with my 8").

Not the news i wanted to hear, but thanks Michael.

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It may not yet be at on the faster slope, if I study the latest light curve which is here (only up to September 10). I think it is just passed its peak, but the 0.15 mag per day decay has not yet set in. According to this site, it is still pretty level. We may have a week more than my previous estimate before it hits 11.4 or lower.

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I'd have thought there would be some Hubble images by now, can't seem to find anything on this on the NASA website either. It's almost like a huge event in space has been brushed under the carpet. Really keen to see some closer images of this.

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I've been clouded out this last week, any recent views on present mag?

andrew

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I've been clouded out this last week, any recent views on present mag?
Down from a peak visual mag of about 10m during 10-14Sep to about 10.5m now.

According to AAVSO observers.

:p which takes it out of my range ;) , thank you clouds.

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Down from a peak visual mag of about 10m during 10-14Sep to about 10.5m now.

According to AAVSO observers.

:p which takes it out of my range ;) , thank you clouds.

What size scope do you have? 10.5 is in range of a 70mm scope (under good conditions 11.0). Even a 4" should get it. If your scope cannot reach that, why not get in touch with other SGL members nearby to see if they might help. The link to the map at the top of the page may help.

Edited by michael.h.f.wilkinson

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What size scope do you have? 10.5 is in range of a 70mm scope (under good conditions 11.0).
Still deliberating over what 'scope to buy. I had intended trying to get it on my little Panasonic FZ18, I have previously reached 9m by stacking lots of 10sec exposures, so I was going to try 20sec next time the clouds cleared !

However, hot off the press news is that I have just been given a 90mm F13 Seben Mak. (long story,friend of friend scope for the kids, unwanted, lost interest ! ) on a wobbly tripod, I dont hold out much hope for it !!

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...However, hot off the press news is that I have just been given a 90mm F13 Seben Mak. (long story,friend of friend scope for the kids, unwanted, lost interest ! ) on a wobbly tripod, I dont hold out much hope for it !!

Well that's better than nothing ;)

I must have similar skies to you (being only a few miles away) and, towards the zenith, I can get down to around mag 13 with my 10" newtonian and abut mag 12.5 with my 6" mak-newtonian. Needs a good night mind and the neighbours to have gone to bed and switched their lights off to achieve this :p

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Well that's better than nothing :p
Hi John, hehee,yes indeed, as I typed the above a picture of a gift horse and mouth came to mind !

I was just about to go to 'Beginners' or 'Lounge' to ask for experiences with this scope, I didn't know astro scopes came so slow as F13.3

I am lucky that when the leaves are on the trees I cannot see my neighbours lights but the Sn is behind my hill and if I go portable I will be looking towards Bristol to the north ;)

I used to be able to get 5.5m with Mk1 eyeball in my garden, but I dunno, these days I struggle to get 4 most of the time.

Malcolm.

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Michael & John > re magnitude limits.

I had a brief view this evening with the new scope, see my thread in the 'Lounge', and one of the easy ref. stars that I sketched near the Ring Nebula is (overhead) 10.3m in Stellarium, so with a more practiced eye and good conditions the Sn may still be within my grasp !

cheers,

Malcolm.

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