Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Supernova in M82.

Again, a long time since posting new stuff.  But that's life as a Seattle astronomer as usual.  We got lucky again and had some clear skies for a few nights after SN2014J (the fancy name for a supernova) which blew up 11.4 billion years ago in M82.  Kind of cool, another one of those relatively bright Messier galaxies which are well known.   The star which blew up pretty much outshined everything else in the galaxy.  When I pointed the telescope at it, I could clearly see the star in just a 4 second exposure in my Starshoot autoguiding camera on the Orion 80ED.  It would have even been a good guide star if I wanted to use it.
The next night I just took a photo of an old favorite - M42.  It was up a lot earlier than the supernova, so I didn't gather more images of it.  The galaxy didn't clear my backyard tree until after 12:30am.

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