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Supernova in M82

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I have no idea what size they would be in my telescope... can anyone help? I think I am going to end up missing this supernova all together. Sad times.

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What a thrill, and a relief... I finally found M82 (and M81) after several hours tonight, in two sessions, of searching using the star-hopping method mentioned in this thread. I could see where it should be... But I just couldn't locate the blighter.

I had basically given up and was just cruising around in the general area when the two tiny smudges of M81 and M82 appeared in the 18mm. They were much fainter than I had expected... I thought they would be just a bit smaller than Andromeda! Shows how much I know. I'm not surprised I missed them for so long.

Anyway, I was using thee 120mm refractor as I thought the high wind earlier tonight would actually blow the Dob over. Pity because the extra light gathering power of the 200mm would have made a difference, I'm sure.

The 15mm showed the faint stars in M82 and I guess the supernova ... Quite a thrill.

The 15mm gave probably the best view in the refractor as in the the 12mm everything was quite faint, though clear with averted vision.

I hope I can find it again, I hope next time with the 200mm ... Bet I'll still struggle next time though!

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@YCBS

Fear not, it's suggested that it should peak around the 2nd February, so there's still time.

I used to find M81 and M82 a challenge to find too! You won't mistake them when you find them. They should look (very roughly, but much fainter) something like this through your 'scope and a 25mm EP:

m81m82.jpg

M82 will take a bit of magnification so when you find it you should be able to try your 10mm EP. Something like this, but much fainter and fuzzier:

m82.jpg

Through your 'scope there'll be a bright star to the bottom left of the galaxy. The Super Nova is next to that, but in the galaxy itself, it's kind of a pin [removed word] of light, like a brighter star in the galaxy, but it should stand out.

Cheers

Edited by bingevader
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I expect that you should be able to see the galaxies with your scope. If you can find other faint objects, and your signature file shows some more challenging objects, then M82 should be within your reach. It might be worth your while going out of town to a dark site as this may help. I really need to go to a 32 mm EP to get both M81 and M82 in the same field of view with my F5. Don't give up on this as it'll be well worth it once you find it.

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Incidentally, once you've found them then you'll be able to find them again without any difficulty. When your familiar with then then you'llbe able to pick them out even in less than ideal skies. The supernova seemed fairly faint tonight despite the sky being very transparent. I took a few images with my DSLR so at least I have a record of it. Hopefully it will get much brighter over the next few days.

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Thank you for this info, Bingevader and WaveSoarer, it's really helpful, especially to know that it's certainly do-able with the equipment I have... I'll be sure to find a darker sky around the 2nd of Feb, weather permitting, which should help.

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If it makes you feel any better. I screwed up taking the initial set of images. I hadn't tightened the RA screw sufficiently and the telescope stopped tracking. Fortunately I noticed about fifteen minutes in and I had to align and start all over again. It'll all come good I'm absolutely sure of that. Despite being described as bright they are still quite faint and you need to get your eye in.

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Thanks for the reassurance, I'm planning to set up early in a good dark sky location and spend several hours out there, which will give me plenty of time to find it. I suppose by the 2nd of Feb we may be able to find it with binoculars (which would help a lot, if true). I certainly won't give up and I know that if I eventually find it, it will be well worth the time and effort.

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No problem seeing it, we're on the edge of town with 9 streetlights and enough security lights to divert planes to land,post-6974-0-02977600-1390730866_thumb.jp

Nick.

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No problem seeing it, we're on the edge of town with 9 streetlights and enough security lights to divert planes to land,attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Nick.

its became easier to see since that pointer arrow was erected ; )

..... joking aside, nice sketch by the way !

cheers,

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Nice one Nick. Will have to wait due this weather to clear, but looking forward to seeing it again.<br />

<br />

Out of interest, what sort of NELM are your skies normally?<br />

<br />

Stu

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Thanks for the reassurance, I'm planning to set up early in a good dark sky location and spend several hours out there, which will give me plenty of time to find it. I suppose by the 2nd of Feb we may be able to find it with binoculars (which would help a lot, if true). I certainly won't give up and I know that if I eventually find it, it will be well worth the time and effort.

From the above diagram with the star hop is good but try the Phecda to Dubhe way and imagine following that line the same distance with your eye and point the telescope and you will be roughly in the right area to a have sweep with a wide angle eyepiece. In fact the way the pair of stars are orientated about 7 pm they virtually follow in a straight vertical  line so you can just keep the scope following on from Dubhe for another 10 deg or so. The pair of galaxies can be seen in a 9x50 finder.  Good luck - will be worth the effort !

andrew

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Andrew has a good point there. They are also visible in the finder. I quite often find one of the galaxies (M81 usually) and then I need to fumble around to get the second. With a 15mm EP and the finder cross-hair bang in the middle of the pair, they're just on the edge (perhaps slightly off) the FOV. I remember my first attempt at looking for these galaxies and I was disheartened by how isolated they looked in Stellarium as they didn't look all that close to any really bright stars and I knew, from my star hopping attempts at the time, how easy it was to get lost and lose confidence in the path if there were no distinctive markers on the way. That's why I opted for this dog-leg approach. I'm much more used to the inverted view now but I make sure that I feel the scope is moving the right way across the sky as I can still end up moving in completely the wrong direction if I don't do this: I need to move up and to the left here so let's make sure I feel I'm moving the scope that way - the view through the finder should look as if it's moving down and to the right. If you look at the star hop I drew, if you turn right instead of left at the triangle of stars then you'll end up at another grouping that looks very similar to what you're after. I've ended up there a couple of times and that's why I make sure that I'm nuding the telescope relative to the ground (me) in the right sense.

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[quote name="BigMakStutov"

Out of interest, what sort of NELM are your skies normally?<br />

<br />

Stu

Varies from 5.5 to 6.

Really varies wildly , some nights the Milky Way is visible across most. Last night before packing up I managed 13 stars in half the sky ! Although we're on the edge of town , it's near the top of a rise pointing away from most of the town.

All we need now are

Clear skies,

Nick.

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I noticed that last night Nick. When I got set up the sky was very dark (for here) and there were lots of stars visible within Orion. The Milkyway was also reasonably clear. I then got called out to work, as there was a bit of an issue that needed to be resolved, and when I got back (just after 11 pm). The sky was distinctly less transparent and had taken on a more milky tone. I assume that this was related to today's weather system encroaching.

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Very distinct here last night, at a club meet dark sky session. Spotted at X62 nicely framed at X160 and terrific at X229 in the 14" dob.

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Here is a crop of the image I took from last night (25/1/14) with a matching crop from an image I took in December (9/12/13). It was quite windy at times here and so the resulting image wasn't quite as sharp as the effort in December. I did focus up with a Bahtinov mask at the start so the camera should have been set up correctly. I later had a go at viewing Jupiter with my 5 mm EP and the telescope jiggle was really noticeable when the wind caught to OTA. Anyway, the supernova is clearly visible and it's actually very obvious on the 60s subs that went in to the final stacked image.

post-22790-0-11270200-1390756117_thumb.j

Edited by WaveSoarer
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They are nice images  :smiley:

I've just picked the SN up this evening with my 4" refractor. It looks to be around the same brightness as it was last night - mag 10.5ish.

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I must try and find it again tonight if it remains clear (amazing given the rain we had today!)

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Bagged it last night, I waited 'till a bit later around after 11:20 or so when M81/M82 were higher up in the sky, but skies had deteriorated.  I literally had 20 minutes before the clouds rolled in properly, but just enough time to see it.

Should be a more interesting target I think when it gets to higher brightness. Still, it was not hard to pick out once I had seen the before and after images an sketches to help me in this thread and elsewhere on the web, so I knew what I was looking for. First SN in the bag :smiley:

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Here are crops of my images taken 9-1-14 and 23-1-13.  On the 23rd the weather was quite poor and I only got chance to "look" with the camera.  I did manage a quick peek by eye in a short cloud gap late on last night (25th) and even in my little 150p it was cleary visible

12108722454_0a8318eb3f_b.jpg

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I can now just pick the supernova out with averted vision in my 20 x 80 binoculars so it must be just on mag 11.

Mark

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No problem seeing it, we're on the edge of town with 9 streetlights and enough security lights to divert planes to land,attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Nick.

Hi Nick,

Those drawings look very nice!

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