Sunday 28 August 2011

Bright Supernova 2011fe in galaxy M101

Discovered automatically by the The Palomar Transient Factory on August 24 at magnitude 17, this was quickly determined to be a very young type 1a supernova, expected to brighten by possibly 6 magnitudes within the next week or two.

The animation below consists of two frames, the first taken on 2003 Jan 28 using a 0.3-m telescope, before the supernova appeared and the second on 2011 Aug 27 using a 0.4-m telescope, with the supernova at magnitude +13.0. This image was obtained during a 4 minute gap with the object passing between trees, when M101 was almost at its lowest point over the north horizon, poor weather preventing any attempt in better circumstances.

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