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Date: Sunday 10th May 2020. 2240-0130hrs
Scope: 20” f3.6 Lukehurst Dob with Paracorr (fl = 2089mm & f4.1).
Night Vision: PVS-14 with Photonis 4g INTENS.
Eyepieces: Plossl 55mm (f2 x38), Panoptic 35mm (f3 x60), Panoptic 27mm (f4 x77), DeLite 18.2mm (f5.8 x115).
I had made a plan to attempt five supernovae earlier in the day and had drawn some star charts to match against once I had the target galaxy in the fov.
The weather gods were on my side yesterday and I managed to get an immediate opportunity to search for the SN last night...
1.NGC 3643, SN2020hvf, Mag 12.4 (observed on 27th April, 8th & 10th May)
NGC 3643 had to be the first target as it is getting too west of my shed and about to leave the drop-down side "window of opportunity". Luckily it is a very bright supernova and as I had observed it on two previous occasions I was quickly able to find it and observe for changes... You really have to look for the galaxy as this supernova is so much brighter than you would expect to see!
Here is a sketch I drew on 27th April should anyone find it useful...
2.M61, SN2020jfo, Mag 14.5 (observed on 8th & 10th May)
Next up, was the SN in M61 which I observed two night ago too. I would say that it is now a little brighter (almost matching the star above for brightness) than it was two nights ago.
Here is my sketch from 8th May...
3.PGC 056685, SN2020fhs, Mag 16.1 (observed on 10th May)
Using the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece (x77), I was able to match the star pattern to my sketch and locate the galaxy which clearly had a double core. Changing up to the Delite 18.2mm (x115) I was able to split the SN from the core and identify that it was at the 8 o'clock position (which I then confirmed on my finder sketch). I could not hold the SN in my view but it was intermittently appearing.
Here is my new sketch taken from the eyepiece view...
4.UGC 10561, SN2020hvq, Mag 15.9 (observed on 10th May)
Later I was able to get to UGC 10561 (just avoiding the apex of the rolled back shed roof). I had a bit of trouble finding the galaxy as there is a brighter NGC nearby (that I tried to star match to initially when using the 55mm Plossl). After changing to the Panoptic 27mm, I happened upon a decent sized edge-on galaxy that matched my finder sketch and I had found it. The galaxy is a nice size and the star match was a good one to the preliminary sketch. 2 clear separated dots are seen in the cigar shaped edge-on galaxy. There are two close-by stars (one either side) that seem to line up with the core dot and then the SN dot is clearly seen below. I tried for a brighter view using the Panoptic 35mm (x60) and the core plus SN could be seen clearly separated once again.
Here is my sketch from the eyepiece...
5.NGC 6118, SN2020hvp, Mag 14.6 (observed on 10th May)
I had to wait for NGC 6118 to move west and come closer to the drop-down side of the shed as it is low to the horizon for me. Anyway, it was nearly there when I started to look for it in the eyepiece. I had the Panoptic 27mm eyepiece loaded (x77). The galaxy is large and the star match to the finder sketch is easy as there is a clear 3-3-2-2 pattern around the galaxy. At first I could not see the two dots within the disk but with time and patience they appeared together on and off in the view.
As the sky continued to rotate and I got nearer to the drop-down side the two dots became more permanent. The SN seemed to appear first (in a triangle with 2 close-by field stars) so I reckon it was slightly brighter than the field star next to it in the disk.
I switched to the panoptic 35mm for a brighter view and I could see the two dots in the disk easily once again.
Here is my sketch from the eyepiece...
I have to conclude that it was a successful session. Its not often you get to view five supernovae in one session.
Three of the five were new to me and that takes me to #24 for 2020 (a number that I am blown away with)!
Maybe this will inspire someone else to try for these SN targets now the Moon is out of the way?
With clear nights forecast next week and the moon getting later to rise 😀, I have done some SN research this morning to id some targets for next week...
Here are some scans of my research notes and star charts for use next week...
I will be targeting the following new SN:
AT2020ftl, NGC4277, Mag 14.9 SN2020dko, NGC5258, Mag 16.6 AT2020enm, IC1222, Mag 16.7 SN2020fqv, NGC4568 (Siamese Twins), Mag 15.3 SN2020fcw, NGC5635, Mag 16.1 SN2020ees, NGC5157, Mag 16.5