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John

Supernova SN 2017 eaw in NGC 6946

38 posts in this topic

That's great Kerry - a cherished memory.  It's strange that things which appear so insignificant in the eyepiece, make a hugh impact on the mind.

 

andrew

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Excellent Kerry :icon_biggrin:

The SN was a little dimmer last night than when I 1st spotted it I think.

 

Edited by John

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Great report :thumbsup: - will have to try for it if the skies get dark enough here and the clouds shift.

Btw, very funny sketch!! :grin:

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Despite the reported difficulty and equipment needed to see this supernova I was keen to have a go at observing it last night. After reading the information in this thread and studying the maps I was quite well prepared for the search with regards to mental mapping. As a result I was able to reach the area of the Fireworks galaxy within a few minutes of starting the search. I did this by first of all recognizing the Cepheus constellation by eye and then going from Alpha-Cep (Alderamin) to Eta-Cep (Kabalfird) in the finderscope. From there I carefully star hopped at 59x magnification (I couldn't be bothered to change from the 17.3mm focal length eyepiece to the 25mm focal length one after my last target - M13) to the location where NGC 6946 was supposed to be. I quickly recognized two memorised star patterns on the opposite outer edges of the invisible galaxy. A triangle on one side and a pair of stars on the other.

At first I thought that I wouldn't be able to tease out any further stars other than these 10 and 11 magnitude ones but by increasing the magnification to 200x I was able to see maybe 4 stars around the location of the supernova using averted vision. It was impossible to tell whether any one of these stars was the supernova as each one was too fleeting in my vision to determine it's specific location. A  sketch might have been a good idea if I had the skill, patience, tools and inclination to do such - a primitive ccd camera if you will.

I didn't mind not seeing the supernova and I was pleased to get as close as I did from my back garden. I think that at a dark sky site it would have been possible to see it with an 8" telescope. Probably not for me as I am unlikely to go to one before the supernova fades beyond the capabilities of my telescope. However, I gained almost if not as much pleasure from the hunt as from a possible capture.

Edited by David Levi
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Good report David - you may well have seen it :smiley:

Higher magnification is useful to try and tease out these dim points of light. I've found 350x-400x needed to spot Uranian moons for example.

 

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Wow !

Just managed to catch this SN with my 130mm triplet refactor :icon_biggrin:

Needs 200x and very, very careful scrutiny of the star field (plus familiarity from previous observations) but it's definitely popping in and out of vision. I reckon I'm getting down to mag 13 stars at the moment which is pretty good for a 130mm aperture from a back yard :smiley:

Difficult to assess brightness with the target so close to the limit of the scope / conditions but mag 12.7 or therabouts would be my estimate.

 

Edited by John
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I finally bagged the SN last night in the 20" dob. :) I had been thwarted the previous night by incoming sea mist  :( as I waited for the galaxy to clear my obsy roof and come into view...

Last night, finding NGC6946 was easy and I could even see the galaxy as a large fuzzy patch (it was after 1am so dark-ish). Anyway I had a pain to get the stars I could see to match all the lovely images and ended up drawing a sketch map of the star patterns I could see around the galaxy and coming back inside to view internet images ...

I was finally sure that I was looking at the right star (remains of) and went to bed satisfied.

My method was as follows:

- find 3 bright stars in a triangle to the side on 6946

- 2 of the 3 point off to another smaller triiangle of fainter stars on the other side (and then some) of 6946

- once you have the 2 triangles of stars then the 4 (2x2) of interest are sitting under the imaginary line between the two triangles and are just under the dim galaxy shape (or at least they were in the dob)

In the Ethos21 the four stars (2 x 2 pairs) were very dim and directly under the galaxy (x95 mag)

With the Ethos13 and Ethos10 then they were much easier to spot. (x153 & x200)

I also had my first (wonderful) views of the Veil in the E21 & 20" dob combo, even though I was only using half the mirror (due to the obsy wall), really looking forward to when it gets overhead in a couple of months. Bagged the crescent nebula easily too although it was much smaller to the eye than when using my 2800 focal length SCT!

HTH others,

Alan

Edited by alanjgreen
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Nice one Alan :icon_biggrin:

I'm pleased (in a way) that the host galaxy looked dim even with a 20". It was very dim indeed with my 12" and invisible with my 130mm refractor last night - I needed to rely entirely on the star patterns to see the SN with the frac.

 

Edited by John

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The seeing was not the best last night! The misty stuff was coming in once again and it was coming light from that direction by 2am. I'll be out to try again tonight. Seeing is rated supposedly as "very good" and less humidity so finges crossed...

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Well I am now back home and I have set up the 12" Dob to try and view the SN. I have printed out the chart from the Sky and Telescope so I am hopeful that I might be successful tonight.

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10 minutes ago, Mark at Beaufort said:

Well I am now back home and I have set up the 12" Dob to try and view the SN. I have printed out the chart from the Sky and Telescope so I am hopeful that I might be successful tonight.

Hope you get it Mark :smiley:

 

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Good luck Mark, spotted it with 10" SCT and 6mm Ethos the other night but I cheated and took a picture of it first :grin:

Dave

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Well I am pleased to say that I was successful. I started with Eta and Theta Cepheus and then checked out the surrounding stars with my Lumicon 9x50 finderscope. I first viewed the star cluster NGC 6939 and then moved down to the direction of the galaxy. There are two mag 6 stars that point to NGC 6946 and on the other side a right angle triangle of mag 7 stars. I found the galaxy which appeared as a glow although no detail. The triangle of stars made an easy guide to the location of the SN and using the S&T map I could see stars 129, 132 and the third which was the SN.

I found the 20mm Myraid a great EP to view the whole area and then used the 13mm Ethos and 9mm Myraid to get in closer.

So being away for 2 weeks I thought I might have missed the chance to see this SN so pleased that I got it.

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