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Supernova in M95


John
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Been at Jodrell Bank radio telescope all day and arrived home at about 8pm to a very clear sky - members at SGL7 should be OK tonight being only a few miles away.

Set up the 10" Dob with the 13mm and 8mm Ethos EPs to try and view the SN.

Easily found M95 and thanks to the brilliant sketch of Seb was easily able to match the star field. Viewed the SN which I estimated at mag 13 not able to see the mag 14 star on Seb's sketch.

Glad I saw the SN tonight as I am going away on Friday so will not be able to view it for at least 10 days.

Glad to record my 5th SN :)

Mark

Nice one Mark. Glad the sketch came in handy :)

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I had a go last night in my 6" SCT and had no luck at all :)

Think I saw the galaxy itself as a very faint fuzzy patch, but not the SN - LP in my area usually restricts me to max of mag 12 on a (very) good night, so am keeping my fingers crossed that it'll brighten up a bit and I'll get to see it. Would be fab if I do... I was very lucky to see the SN in M101 last year, so to see another one so soon after would be pretty amazing :)

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With the help from SGL (great sketch) and some near perfect conditions last night I found SN2012aw very easily last night...pinned the mag14 star(s) in the area and let out a victory cheer. Concur with mag 13 and change for mag (13.1-13.2).

Happy hunting.

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Got it last night with the 12", also the one in Virgo (SN2012au). I posted a report here:

http://stargazerslounge.com/observing-deep-sky/181003-bright-supernova-virgo.html#post2219186

Incidentally, the Rochester Astronomy supernova site lists a third supernova of comparable brightness currently visible, SN2011ja in NGC 4945 (Centaurus), but at declination -49 degrees it's for equatorial or southern hemisphere observers.

http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/snimages/

Edited by acey
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I had a go last night in my 6" SCT and had no luck at all :)

Think I saw the galaxy itself as a very faint fuzzy patch, but not the SN - LP in my area usually restricts me to max of mag 12 on a (very) good night, so am keeping my fingers crossed that it'll brighten up a bit and I'll get to see it. Would be fab if I do... I was very lucky to see the SN in M101 last year, so to see another one so soon after would be pretty amazing :)

Did better than me in my 6", averted vision was getting me lots of different things but to say I could even make out the galaxy would be a lie.

Mars was good last night though.

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I've observed SN2012aw a number of times now with my 10" newtonian and a 12" dobsonian at the SGL7 star party last night so I'm familiar with it's position in relation to M95 and the nearby stars.

As I had my ED120 on Mars tonight I thought I'd have a go at M95 and the SN just for fun. I used the 13mm Ethos to find the galaxy which was more challenging in itself than with the 10" newt of course.

Once I had pinned down the faint glow of M95 I switched to the 8mm Ethos are carefully examined the stars in the locality. The mags 10.3 and 12.0 stars to the E of the galaxy core were visible directly but the mag 12.4 star to the W needed averted vision as did a mag 13.1 star that forms a triangle pointing away from M95 with the previously mentioned mag 10.3 and 12.0 stars. SN SN2012aw was just visible "on and off" using averted vision and I would estimate that it is still close to magnitude 13 although the sighting with such a small aperture makes accurate brightness estimates less then precise I think.

I was rather surprised to be able to pick this up , albeit with averted vision, with such a modest aperture but I've been back to the scope a number of times to confirm it. The magnitudes above are taken as an "average" from a number of sources each of which varied slightly :blob10:

The image below (not of my making !) shows the 4 stars mentioned above, the galaxy and SN SN2012aw (arrowed) and I've adjusted it to more or less match refractor orientation. The dimmer stars pictured were not visible to me:

post-12764-133877752896_thumb.jpg

Edited by John
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This evening I managed to capture some spectral data of supernova 2012aw covering the range from 4000angstroms to 8500 angstroms. The attached image is just a first output and is not corrected for instrument response. However it shows quite clearly a couple of interesting features. There is a clear P-Cygni profile developing around the H-Alpha line. Evidence too of classic H-balmer series lines emerging from the continuum. I also see evidence of Sodium absorption which when compared to SNe 1992H (A.V.Fillipenko) seems a little early (with 1992H Sodium absorption became prominent at T+73days) . Ca II absorption is also prominent.

I will of course follow up with an response corrected profile, but for now I thought this was worth sharing.

Equipment: C14, Star Analyser+Prism, SBIG-ST8 27x120sec stacked

post-25710-133877752944_thumb.jpg

Edited by gremlin
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I have to confess to posting in a hurry last night and I really didn't give the above spectrum a more meaningful explanation. I'm afraid I just re-used text from an e-mail which I had e-mailed to some other spectroscopy enthusiasts, so I apologise for the lack of explanation in my original post.

The really interesting thing here is the previously mentioned -"P-Cygni" profile. This is labelled in the spectrum as Ha. What were looking at here specifically is hydrogen rushing both toward and away from us. The huge velocities involved means the H which is coming toward us is being 'blue-shifted' to the left (represented by the dip) and the material going away is red-shifted (to the right and represented by the peak). Normally (in P-Cygni profiles) of non-exploding stars, the P-Cyngi profile would be no where near this wide, however the incredibile velocities here means that the profile is widened dramatically.

The H gamma and h delta lines marked are also interesting. These are known as part of the Hydrogen-Balmer series lines. Only type II events have these. So given the obvious p-cygni profile we can see from this that that a:) there is lots of hydrogen and b:) there is material rushing away from the event at collossal speeds. Therefore we can see that this is a type II supernova. Professionals would use larger scopes and higher res spectra to further sub-categorise.

Here's the cool bit. The massively expensive and horribly complex spectrograph used to capture the above is simply a £100 'Star-Analyser'. I did add a small wedge prism to the front of the SA to give me a 'grism' arrangement grism = grating + prism. I do own a higher res instrument, and hope to get a close up of that p-cygni profile soon. With this higher-res it may be possible to measure the speed of the outflow and perhaps put a size on the progenitor star. I think that would be really cool.

Scope is a C14.

If anyone has any questions, I'd be only too happy to answer (if I know the answer!)

CS

Dave.

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That's brilliant Dave! Thanks for the explanation. It gives a good sense of the magnitude of violence with these events, which is something you don't get stood in the garden at 1am looking at a distant point of light with only the scufflings of a hedgehog for company. Seems like a very worthwhile investment of 100 quid!

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I was able to see this last night in my 6", my first supernova! I had to use averted vision to see it. I found I got my best glimpses of it when I stared at the nearby 10.2 mag star.

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