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John

Supernova SN 2017 eaw in NGC 6946

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John    17,075

Fireworks in the Fireworks Galaxy !

Just managed to pick this SN (now dubbed 2017 eaw) up visually with my 12" dob.

NGC 6946 is a face on spiral. Large, rather faint and diffuse so don't get misled by the integrated magnitude figure of 9.6 - I found it hard to pick up with the 12" dob :rolleyes2:

Fortunately there are some distinctive star patterns to help be sure of the galaxy and the supernova position. I found the black on white image on this Sky & Telescope page very helpful:

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/possible-bright-supernova-discovered-in-fireworks-galaxy-ngc-6946/

The SN itself looks around mag 12.5 I'd say at the moment. It forms a little kinked line of 3 stars with mag 13.2 and 12.9 stars close to it. The SN is a touch brighter than those tonight but quite a lot dimmer than the mag 11 stars of the triangle on the opposite side of the galaxy. Higher power ( 122x ) helped winkle the fainter stars out.

Crazy events going on 22 million years ago ! :grin:

There is a nice tight little cluster NGC 6939 nearby as well - worth a look :smiley:

My 8th supernova I think. Not seen one for sometime so very pleased to have bagged this one :icon_biggrin:

Edited by John
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andrew63    1,043

That's brilliant John -  a great thrill, a great display !

 

andrew

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John    17,075

Thanks Andrew :smiley:

The sky is very "giving" tonight. Just had fabulous view of M13 and the galaxy NGC 6207 in the same field of view at 122x :smiley:

 

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Stu    14,432

Great stuff John. I've a feeling this one may be beyond me but will give it a try. My mount is away having some TLC at the moment but when it is back I will give it a go

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estwing    4,463

well done John...sit down, I was going to have a peek with the Telementor at this!...

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John    17,075
1 hour ago, Stu said:

Great stuff John. I've a feeling this one may be beyond me but will give it a try. My mount is away having some TLC at the moment but when it is back I will give it a go

It's one of those where the SN is probably currently a touch brighter than the surface brightness of the galaxy Stu.

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Stu    14,432
Just now, John said:

It's one of those where the SN is probably currently a touch brighter than the surface brightness of the galaxy Stu.

Thanks John. I doubt I would get a sniff of the galaxy so probably too tough from here.

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John    17,075
1 hour ago, estwing said:

well done John...sit down, I was going to have a peek with the Telementor at this!...

Worth a go Calvin ! :smiley:

I had a peek with my Tak 100 and managed to do this quick sketch :grin:

 

sn217eawjoke.jpg

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Piero    2,715

Congratulations John! :)

I independently read the S&T article this morning and was going to post it here but you preceded me! Glad to read that amatorial telescopes could reveal this special event! 

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scarp15    2,024

That's great, I saw the reference you'd made in another thread. I had read a little about this occurrence on the Cloudy Nights Forum but did not pay too much attention to it so really good that you have had a successful sighting and brought this to the forums attention. mean while cloudy in NE England, just might be OK to look at Jupiter, if it stops raining, later on.  

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Size9Hex    1,130

Thanks John. The skies are clearing, so maybe a chance to bag my first supernova tonight!

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John    17,075
1 hour ago, Size9Hex said:

Thanks John. The skies are clearing, so maybe a chance to bag my first supernova tonight!

Hope you get it Paul :smiley:

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Had a peek at it just now, managed to find it, but did not find it easy with the C8. Quite hard in averted vision, but I found it at the right location a number of times. Occasionally I caught a glimpse of the ghostly glow of the host galaxy. The skies are not quite dark enough for this kind of work. I have seen NGC 6946 before, but that was under much darker skies. Still, supernova number 10 bagged

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Size9Hex    1,130
9 hours ago, John said:

Hope you get it Paul :smiley:

It's in the bag! :smile: Thanks once again for your great report and tips for identifying the supernova. Time and time again this forum has enabled me to see something truly unexpected and remarkable. To see the supernova at a similar brightness to the foreground stars despite being so much further away gives these events some perspective. What a sight it must be to any local residents in the Fireworks galaxy (although maybe they're used to these by now)!

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John    17,075

Well done Paul and Michael :icon_biggrin:

The galaxy itself (NGC 6946) was pretty dim and hard to spot even with my 12" but the SN itself was not too hard. I believe it's just peaked and will probably start to dim gradually over the coming days. I didn't get a a chance to have another look last night due to clouds but maybe tonight ?

 

Edited by John
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Mark at Beaufort    2,488

Great report John. I am currently on the boat and don't have access to the 12" Dob. The sky is totally clear here in rural Warwickshire but I only have the Heritage 130 with me so it might be a bit difficult to see.

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BTW, I just made a little comparison chart with the AAVSO variable star plotting tool

SN2017eaw.thumb.png.c5491b99ca5d08169642db61c0f3a737.png

This one has north up and east right (so for use in my SCT with diagonal), limiting magnitude 13.5 (which is as much as I can hope for at the moment). For other versions just go to

https://www.aavso.org/apps/vsp/

and enter SN 2017eaw in the top box, select other options as desired and click on the "plot" button and away you go. I am now doubly sure I spotted the right star in this plot, but will attempt to get it again tonight, weather permitting.

 

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Just got a much better view of the SN. The skies are more transparent, and although it is not yet fully dark, I could clearly pick up the SN, and in averted vision the faint star just north-east of it is the chart (the point of the little triangle just above and to the right of the SN in the chart). Will try if I can make out more later, when it gets fully dark.

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John    17,075

Thin haze has thickened here so even Jupiter is struggling to show much. I've found Comet V2 Johnson but I can't see mag 12-13 being anywhere near possible here tonight :rolleyes2:

Glad you are having another look at the SN Michael. I wonder if the mag has dipped from last night or the opposite ?

Edited by John

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Would be able to say that. Many of the useful comparison stars weren't visible yesterday. Did bag NGC 6951 just now. Packing up the scope shortly. Duty calls tomorrow morning.

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mapstar    5,529

I might try for this myself later in the week if I get chance.

Best Tak sketch I've ever seen, so much detail you captured it well there John :wink:

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WhiteHole2    5

As an update: the open cluster is NGC 6939. Ordinarily a good photo target. But with one of the brightest SN in recent years as well...nice. Very nice.

Alan Potts, PhD.

 

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John    17,075

Managed to spot this supernova again tonight. Seems to be around mag 12.8ish now. Barely any trace of the host galaxy NGC 6946 tonight with the 12" dob. The SN was not too difficult but things usually are the 2nd time around !

Edited by John
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kerrylewis    1,370

Got it - but boy was it hard!

I tried with the Dob on Sunday night but conditions were such that I was unable to positively confirm the galaxy's position; it was not fully dark for a start. So last night I got up around 1.00am for the darker sky, and had set up the 9.25 and Goto (Ioptron mount). I therefore pretty quickly located the galaxy although I couldn't actually see it! Here the S+T graphic (thanks John) was invaluable. I could see the triangle of stars to the south and the pair to the north but nothing in between. I checked a few other objects, including Comet Johnson and some nebulae, and it seemed that the transparency of the sky was less than perfect. After a while I was close to giving up but thought I would give it one more try.

This time the triangle and pair of stars seemed a little brighter and I concentrated on the area between trying a few eyepieces, and averted vision. And then - with the 20mm ES the three stars in the middle (of which the SN was one) seemed to float into view. Gradually the view steadied and I got a hint of the galaxy itself. Reversing the S+T graphic in my head the pattern of 3 stars was now unmistakeable  - I had the supernova! I was chuffed and spent a minute or two wondering what the view was like in this galaxy ten million years ago, and also thinking it should be not be called the Fireworks galaxy but the Wisp of Smoke, and went back to bed a happy chappie. 

I love ephemeral objects! 

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