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Phenakist

Supernova in M101

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Only a 20second video but worth watching! An explosion billions of miles across eventually to span over many lightyears of space and with enough light to burn as bright as billions of stars within the center of the galaxy.

And just to think, what is being witnessed in this video happened 20,000,000 years ago, a full 19,750,000 years before humans even existed.

I originally posted this on my facebook, then I realised this community might ACTUALLY care about what I was writing :)

Edited by Helen

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My mind truly boggle's when i try to comprehend the size of the known universe. An explosion that happened 20,000,000 years ago and we are only witnessing it now :)

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It came on TV this morning it is in the Pin Wheel galaxy, M101 in Usa Major, should, according to what has been said, be visable in binos for about the next two weeks,

and for the record it is 21.8 million Light Years away and 1 light year is about 5.9 million million miles, so what we see now happened all that time ago.

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What great about this supernova is its a type 1a and as such by the way its formed can be used as a standard candle to gain accurate distance measurements.

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Its also strange to think that it has already expanded and gone pop. Its just that e havent seen that bit yet.

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How accurate the information is, is questionable, but so far its been muted that the SN could increase in brightness over the next two weeks and be visible in binoculars, so you should see it in a small scope, albeit that it will probably only look like a very small out of focus star :)

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I'm not sure how long this supernova will be visible, but Tycho's supernova of 1572 (also a type 1a) was visible for over a year before it faded from naked eye visibility.

I assume this supernova could, in theory, remain at around mag 10 or so for a similar period.

Tim.

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I've been wondering if anyone has ever captured the moment of a star going supernova. As far as I can tell, visually, no. But there was one (2008d in NGC2770) caught in X rays as it happened: SN 2008D - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

...it will probably only look like a very small out of focus star

Don't think it will look out of focus at that distance! (unless of course you haven't focused your scope properly :))

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Would love to get a glimps but I'm stuck in a hotel in pontefract with no scope GUTTED :).

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The 4 supernovae that I have seen to date have all looked just like a faint star. The "magic" comes from knowing what that faint star actually is and how long the light from it has been travelling before it fell onto your objective lens / mirror :)

Edited by John

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It came on TV this morning it is in the Pin Wheel galaxy, M101 in Usa Major, should, according to what has been said, be visable in binos for about the next two weeks,

and for the record it is 21.8 million Light Years away and 1 light year is about 5.9 million million miles, so what we see now happened all that time ago.

Just thinking about it frazzles my brain!, Amazing!!

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Got this image of the supernova on the 28/8/11. Really bad seeing but got a image with a 4min exposure using a Canon 350d on a SWed80. Not the greatest but it is there.

post-20491-13387765895_thumb.jpg

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I read one article saying it is around mag 17 earlier in the week, and will peak to mag 10 near friday and the weekend. Don't know how true that is, but it is damn raining/cloudy all weekend!

Edited by coffee_prince

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Think I spotted it with this chart http://www.popastro.com/images/news/2011FE.png

From my suburban skies no chance of spotting M101 but at the expected location just about spotted a faint star at the expected location in a 100mm bino (on tripod). Took me a while to orientate my bearing but clearly seen as a star in a 16 inch dob but still no sign of M101.

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I think the BBC and radio stations made it sound very easy but with my limited experience with telescopes I found it quite hard, even with quite a lot of aperture, particularly to ascertain that I was not looking at just another star.

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I'm not sure how long this supernova will be visible, but Tycho's supernova of 1572 (also a type 1a) was visible for over a year before it faded from naked eye visibility.

I assume this supernova could, in theory, remain at around mag 10 or so for a similar period.

Tim.

Sorry for quoting myself but I think my rather optimistic prediction is a long way out.

Here's the light curve for the SN

http://www.aavso.org/lcg/plot?auid=000-BKD-525&starname=SN%202011FE&lastdays=28&start=&stop=2455823.71146&obscode=&obscode_symbol=2&obstotals=yes&calendar=calendar&forcetics=&grid=on&visual=on&r=on&bband=on&v=on&pointsize=1&width=900&height=600&mag1=&mag2=&mean=&vmean=

It is amazing how many people seem to have picked up from news items that the SN is easily visible with bins or even naked eye. At mag 10 and unlikely to get any brighter this is clearly not the case.

Tim

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