View Full Version here: : Stu mag12 supernova
03-12-2011, 02:38 PM
Hot off the press and writing on iphone while eating in Hungry Jacks. Stu from BOSS has discovered the teams brightest possible SN todate at mag 12.8 in NGC1404. More later, visual obs and images encouraged. Congrats Stu and he will post image.
03-12-2011, 03:02 PM
Thanks Peter,:thanx: congratulations Stu :thumbsup:
Will try to look tonight weather permitting :shrug:
03-12-2011, 03:07 PM
Clear skies forecast..56 degr elevation at 2130 local time..I will be on this like a Chihuahua on a pork chop tonight!
03-12-2011, 06:38 PM
This is a bright one!!! will add more later here is my discovery image
Many thanks to all team members worked like clockwork.
03-12-2011, 08:25 PM
Wow! Will go and setup the scope and have look.
Congratulations to Stu and the BOSS team.
03-12-2011, 09:41 PM
Just taken several images and this is bright. The PSN is close to the galaxy and my image here is a 2 second image.
This galaxy is in Fornax and is about 50 million light years away. It had a mag 14.2 Supernova (SN 2007on) that was a type 1a and was extensively studied.
Interesting reading below.
I think this may get a lot of professional and amateur attention.
03-12-2011, 09:47 PM
its been a good year for boss , congratulations on this discovery
03-12-2011, 10:48 PM
More Awesome work by the BOSS team.
03-12-2011, 11:14 PM
Just came in from observing the the Supernova, it is quite bright and plainly seen with a 6mm Radian in the 16" scope .
The seeing is quite poor with the first quarter Moon and High thin cloud,but the Supernova was still prominent:)
I hope the cloud stays away till after the Moon goes down so I can get a better observation:D
04-12-2011, 12:12 AM
Well, I was on it. Unfortunately the seeing was the worst I have ever experienced, so this is a really wooly image. The galaxy has quite a bright, condensed nucleus, and the SN is close by. But the SN is BRIGHT!
Cheers Stu and the B.O.S.S. team.
04-12-2011, 02:08 AM
Sure is bright Ivan!
Well done Stu and the BOSS team:thumbsup:
here's my set tonight, pretty bad seeing...and focus was bumped
near the start of the set.
04-12-2011, 03:50 AM
Well here is a crop of a 5min shot taked with my 127mm scope and QSI583 camera. Well done Stu and Boss - it certainly is bright
04-12-2011, 05:54 AM
Congrats Stu, wish I was there to help out. Mag 12.8 is awesome, this must be a big one, will be interesting to see the spectrum for it, will be almost bright enough to see through the clouds above Paris!!
Wish I could image this one.
04-12-2011, 07:05 PM
Now that is interesting...............
Bang in the middle of the Fornax Cluster of galaxies, in a field which is notable for the lack of any significant number of supergiant stars. (these galaxies are "red and dead", and have very low Current star formation rates)
Accessing my "memory banks", I seem to recall that NGC1404 is arguably an S0 galaxy rather than an elliptical......in other words, there is a subtle zone outside of the spheroidal component in which the surface brightness falls off more slowly than it does in the spheroidal (bulge) component.
Quiescent S0 galaxies like this one have few or no supergiant stars, so core-collapse SNe are rare or non-existent in them, but there are a few of these "old stellar population galaxies" which for some reason get multiple type 1a supernovae.
cheers, bad galaxy man
As you can see from this UV exposure from GALEX, this galaxy (circled) is nearly invisible because it lacks young stars. In contrast,
NGC 1427A at left is vigorously forming stars and lights up "like a candle" in the ultraviolet:
04-12-2011, 07:51 PM
At 12 mag we should be able to get some interesting spectra using the Star Analyser grating....who's going to be first???
05-12-2011, 12:34 AM
Better seeing tonight, can actually see that it is an elliptical galaxy. I played with the curves, and there is a faint halo surrounding it, so I think madbadgalxyman is right about the galaxy type.
Interesting SN in an interesting galaxy.
05-12-2011, 12:43 AM
Very nice Ivan. yep I think the seeing was a little better tonight but
I battled with gully breezes down here south of Adelaide.
I even got a bullseye satellite right through 1365 :)
05-12-2011, 05:04 AM
Great images Ivan and Steve. I feel a bit left out right now away so far from my scope.
Stu told me yesterday that NGC1404 isn't even on his list, it just happened to be in his field of view when he was actually imaging NGC1399...that's why his discovery image is centred on NGC1399. How lucky is that ?
05-12-2011, 05:08 AM
Wow, congrats once again to Stu and the BOSS team. Incredible work.
05-12-2011, 05:20 AM
I thought that I'd take the opportunity to highlight the benefits of working as a team here.
Both Pat Pearl and myself have been in France and the UK for work since the 1st of December, so we are basically out of the loop to discover or assist in the process of confirmation and reporting due to time difference constraints.
However, that didn't stop other BOSS team members from helping out. Colin used SLOOH to get the confirming image and also draft the report to CBAT to ensure that Stu's discovery efforts paid off. And, he did that with all the usual demands of very young family. So, well done Col, as usual, you went out on a limb to ensure that everything went smoothly.
05-12-2011, 09:01 AM
Incredible, that is certainly a bright one. Congratulations to Stu and the team for bringing us so many new supernovae. Great work!
05-12-2011, 09:03 AM
Thanks Greg. Always happy to help the BOSS team with astrometry and reporting to CBAT. The SLOOH confirmation image can be found here http://www.flickr.com/photos/snimages/6452361963/
Thanks to David Bishop for posting on his Latest Supernovae page http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/snimages/
05-12-2011, 09:30 AM
Continuing on from my previous post, galaxies which have hosted multiple type 1a supernovae are rare.
M84 and NGC 1316 are examples.
But is it possible that this 'rarity' is an illusion caused by the fact that people don't include big E & S0 galaxies in their SN searches???
Some have ascribed the existence of a high rate of occurring type 1a supernovae in a galaxy to the presence of a substantial intermediate-aged stellar population in that galaxy. (as we know, most giant E/S0 galaxies are supposed to be dominated by an old stellar population)
M84, while optically looking very bland, has quite a complex internal structure in terms of its constituent stellar ages and stellar orbits.
If NGC 1404 is actually a mild S0 galaxy, it may have a composite stellar population (old + intermediate aged), so it may also have a high rate of type 1a supernovae.
Congratulations to Stu & the Boss team! :thumbsup:
I'm having trouble keeping up with all the new SN discoveries of late. :lol: Great work, guys. :D
Wow, I'm really excited that I may have some hope of seeing this SN thru my 10" dob from my backyard. :eyepop:
Bring on some clear skies..!
Robert- as usual, the information you supply is most interesting and educational- thank you. And thanks Ivan for your pics.
Steve, I have saved your image and will use it to help me find it. I haven't ventured into Fornax territory yet, hope I can find it.
05-12-2011, 10:41 AM
yeah, these galaxies like NGC1404 and M84 and other big E and S0 galaxies can look pretty bland, but they can contain stars formed at a variety of different times.
If you can answer the question "how do we turn a star forming galaxy with plenty of gas into one of these quiescent systems?", then you will be worthy of the Nobel Prize in physics!
05-12-2011, 01:12 PM
We have information that this is an early Type1a event - where a White Dwarf star siphons off matter from a companion Red Giant star, when the mass of the WD exceeds 1.4 solar mass - BANG. Being an early event it may brighten, already reports are its mag is 12.4V making it one of the brightest SN for a while.
This is attracting a lot of interest from professional astronomers, its bright, its a type 1a, its relatively close and caught reasonably early. Amateur astronomers like YOU can see it visually and our own and Madbadgalaxyman provides us with the link between amateur and pro with his knowledgable posts, thanks Robert.
Yes indeed Suzy get your 10inch Dob and use the images here to orientate the galaxy and you should have little trouble spotting the "super new star". When you do have a think about the star being completely obliterated and the new elements created leading to something new, more exciting over time perhaps a new Sunlike star.
Greg makes a good point, Stu was imaging NGC1399 and NGC1404 was not on his list but in the field so all was checked. And just like Gregs recent discovery where he nearly discarded his image before checking - the message to astro imagers who go to a lot of trouble to image galaxies in the first place is you might as well check them, you may make a significant discovery simply by luck. Sure the BOSS team do tens of thousands of images between us each year and luck can still play apart.
I need some now, been over 2 years since my last discovery.
05-12-2011, 03:59 PM
Yeah, Pete, this is a luminous little bugger.....as the distance to the core of the Fornax cluster is now well constrained, I should be able to work out how luminous this SN is. I shall do this, shortly.
05-12-2011, 08:40 PM
Yes Gemini confirmed a type Ia event last night .I have been told that a lot more observations will be made because it is before max light.
I took some images with GRAS last night as it is cloudy here and will post the results soon
The Progenitor for this SN will also be looked for as the HST took detailed imagery of this galaxy when the last supernova took place in 2007.So more interesting observations will come for this SN.
Yes Colin did a great job here thanks to him. Also fantastic to work with all of the guys in the group everybody does their part.
Thanks must go to my wife Lynn who supports my Supernova search programme. Contrary to popular belief (I actually do have a life outside astronomy) I have a 7 day a week job which we are currently very busy at so the time she gives me to blink all those images and the hours and hours I spend at the scope really makes the difference between success and failure and to put up with me when I have very little sleep most nights 3-4 hours if it clear so as you would imagine it is key to have that support.
05-12-2011, 11:40 PM
Nabbed it here in Colac with the 12". Needs averted vision with so much moonage in the sky but it is definitely there. In the moments of clarity, I guessed it was nearly vis with direct vision, but not a positive direct vision obs. I have done a very dodgy sketch which I will scan and post tomorrow.
Hopefully this little begger will still be pumping out photons for a couple of weeks so I can have a go when skies are darker!
Congrats to Stu and the BOSS team and thanks for bringing it to our attention especially as this is my first Supernova Observation!:thumbsup:
06-12-2011, 08:52 AM
Gratz Stu and BOSS team great stuff
06-12-2011, 12:15 PM
Congratulations guys! another one! :)
06-12-2011, 05:34 PM
Congratulations Stu on SN 2011iv, officially announced just a short while ago. That's 20 official supernovae for Stu, with another 2 still waiting the official word under the new rules (they both look true blue but now they require spectroscopic confirmation to receive the designation).
I've got a short article on the BOSS team supernovae in the Feb/Mar issue of Australian Sky & Telescope. Alas, Stu's latest didn't make the deadline!
06-12-2011, 07:54 PM
Yes a hour or so ago it was announced as SN2011iv- CBET 2940
And we were credited with the discovery. As Supernova hunters this is what we wait for the CBET make all the work worthwhile. Sadly the weather has packed it in at the moment with rain and clouds perhaps after full moon might get a shot at an image.
Sorry Greg I class each discovery 22 so far. We follow these closely with light curves etc too much work goes in to each one to be dumped if no spectra is done.;) otherwise what’s the point
08-12-2011, 05:30 PM
Will be interesting, starts 11 Dec. :thumbsup:
08-12-2011, 06:28 PM
As Rob has said and as hoped for the Hubble space telescope will start observations of SN2011iv.I was informed of this late last night here is a quote from the The Astronomer's Telegram:
“STIS UV observations with the Hubble Space Telescope under the Cycle 19 program "Understanding the Progenitor Systems, Explosion Mechanisms,and Cosmological Utility of Type Ia Supernovae" (PI Foley). The first epoch of HST UV spectroscopy will occur on 11 December 2011 at about 03:00
There is also be Imaging at several observatories (Las Campanas included) as well as optical and NIR spectroscopy. This SNe is being followed by alot of observatories.
This is great news.:D:D:D
08-12-2011, 09:17 PM
The icing on the cake.
09-12-2011, 09:05 AM
Yes. yes, yes, makes it all worthwhile!!!!
09-12-2011, 09:55 AM
Must be the ultimate accolade,having a Supernova you discovered observed by the Hubble Space Telescope :eyepop:
Well done again Stu:D
09-12-2011, 10:13 AM
Now that the discovery phase transitions towards more towards scientific research, I’d like to make a few comments.
Firstly, congratulations to Stu, (& the whole BOSS team), on finding this bright fella. Your dedication and commitment to this past-time is simply awesome.
So, current Supernova researchers are hotly debating the progenitor question. I think they’re now able to move beyond the traditional popular singular theoretical view that Type1as necessarily originate from the white dwarf in a binary system, which draws material off its companion until the Chandrasekhar limit, (ie: the Single Degenerate (SD) model).
This model requires a lot of fine tuning to explain the accretion rate in gaining extra mass and to avoid resulting in a red giant, instead of the observed T1a. This may be explained by invoking a moderation of the rate caused by infalling stellar winds however, no evidence of the dispersed ions this would create, has been observed. Neither has the search for surviving remnants of the companion star.
The alternative model, the Double Degenerate (DD) model, portrays two infalling binaries, merging after losing energy and angular momentum.
Both models suffer observational and theoretical problems, individually, and both share common problems also.
A recent paper was published, (http://arxiv.org/pdf/1111.4492v1) which models the T1a rate within a set volume of space, and then overlays this with the expected frequency of different progenitor scenarios. As it turns out, this model favours the DD scenario, which was quite unexpected.
I’d imagine many steely eyes will be searching for evidence of progenitor remnants, ion clouds and wind-blown cavities, etc in support of the SD model. On the other hand, evidence of other close and massive white dwarf binaries, might add more weight to the DD model.
I think its important for amateur observers to keep up with current competing theories, as there are additional observations which can be made beyond the initial discovery. Whether these are able to be accomplished with amateur technologies ... is a question I leave up to our BOSS experts !
Well done, guys.
Cheers & Rgds.
10-12-2011, 08:27 AM
This is such a good post from you I really appreciate it.
I am well aware of the merging model for type1a SN and I should have (as I have done in prior threads) noted "or the merging of WDs". The link is something I will print and read fully later, thanks indeed for that.
What really is exciting for me in your post is that it says to me astronomers are still looking at what is happening with Supernova. Not long after my first discovery I had two interesting comments made to me. The great Bob Evans noted on the apparent lack of follow up observations by professionals that Supernova were "not sexy anymore" and by another "we know so much about supernova that professionals were busy with other important discoveries"
I think exoplanet discoveries and the race find more of these had probably become the new "sexy" in astronomy taking telescope time and funding. I suppose the GFC probably had its impact felt on funding for professional observatories also, perhaps grants were more likely if you were a pro discovering exoplanets.
For an amateur like me you then started to ask yourself is it worth all the expense and considerable time in imaging, blinking etc if it all came to naught.
Well clearly what you present shows that we do not know everything about SN and models are under scrutiny. For me I think this is backed up by the enthusiasm and response the BOSS team get from professional astronomers particularly in Chile and South Africa. In wanting to follow up our discoveries they are very willing to break into existing programmes (this is amazing in itself) to obtain a spectra and all because an amateur in a tin shed with modest equipment found something that maybe a SN. A revitalised interest from professional is just the shot in the arm for amateurs like me. and the BOSS team.
Your last paragraph is interesting and thought provoking - hmmm BOSS experts? well ok at finding and reporting them perhaps. So what can a well equipped advanced amateur do to contribute further to SN science? Aside from finding them and doing light curves I don't know and perhaps others here have some ideas. Infact we could run this very question by the several professionals we have contact with to see what they think. I do wonder how faint amateurs can go with obtaining a spectra that may be useful as there are still SN fainter than mag 16 particularly in the South that don't get quick follow up.
A good thought provoking post like so many you write Craig. You have added to my enthusiasm to find another.
10-12-2011, 11:03 AM
I envy you guys because you can actually use your data to do Cosmology.
An interesting exercise is to find out if you can use your light curves to calculate the distance.
If this is possible being in contact with professionals might allow you compare the accuracy of your light curves to theirs on the basis of the calculated distance from the datasets.
As a starting point you might find this interesting.
It's an introductory course on distances from a Cosmology perspective.
10-12-2011, 11:07 AM
Yes, thanks for your post Craig.
For all, Sky and Telescope have an article on page 19 of the October 2011 issue that provides more interesting thoughts on refining supernova models including hypernovae...a must read for followers of these posts. I am convinced that there is still plenty of work in this area, and BOSS can keep playing a part.
10-12-2011, 05:43 PM
Hi Peter and Greg;
Supernova research to me, represents more of a quest to understand and explore the extremes of pure physics. I guess this is somewhat debatable, but I have this niggling feeling that the recent LHC and neutrino particle physics exercises, might just throw a lot more emphasis back onto Super and Hypernova exploration.
Exoplanet research is driving the development of observational technologies, which is tremendously valuable to all of astronomy. Clearly more data and measurement precision will provide an unequalled opportunity for understanding the sheer diversity of planetary complexity (which I think, will also ultimately force quantified aspects of this into theoretical astrophysics ... which is pretty well absent, at present).
I also have a feeling that the present focus on exoplanetary discovery will reach a logical interim conclusion fairly quickly, when the public becomes less interested about the numbers of way-off remote planets, (which is already quite meaningless to me) ... and when they realise the improbability of exploring these worlds in their generation ... or the next, or the next .. (due to theoretical limitations .. not technological ones). I'll refrain from elaborating on my views about remote exo-life detection over vast distances ... I do have many, many sound reasons for my stand on this .. which we haven't gotten to, yet. ;)
So overall, the pendulum of fashionable exploration, I think, may very well be on its way back, (for what its worth).
Good to see Steven's comments as well .. that presentation/tutorial is a beauty !
Cheers & Rgds
11-12-2011, 11:55 AM
What a great post by Craig very thought provoking.
When I started searching for Supernova my main goal was to try to be the first in the world to spot the light from one of these events and get it reported. The science side of things I thought would take care of itself with the pros doing their stuff after that. Since then my understanding even though still at its infancy has improved. This has changed the way we search and how we talk to the pros. This has got to the point that as Peter says they stop their current programmes to follow alot of our discoveries. Therefore as a team we have the respect of the pros. This is very important for both sides as one professional said to me funding is very tight now and they are looking for accurate and reliable amateurs to do some of the “grunt“work so they are able to do the science. We have been feeding the Chile observatories a regular supply of Supernova over the past year to follow up on as Giuliano said to me a few days ago about SN2011hs a type II SN“ we got a GMOS spectrum last night, just beautiful !!Very good fishing guys !”
I have had emails/meetings from people that I would never of dreamed of at the start of my search programme including Brian Schmidt, Alex Filippenko ,Dan Milisavljevic,Nidia Morell, Giuliano Pignata and may others who I contact on a regular basis they are leaders in their field. This certainly makes all the work worthwhile and goes to prove that alot more information is needed. That is why I can never understand why so many supernova discoveries go unclassified as previous said the sexiness has gone out of supernova which I think is sad. However I think it is on a rebound and bright Supernova like SN2011iv reminds people of the importance of such research.
What I am saying here is I think as amateurs all we can really do is continue to supply this information as best we can to the pros and hope they can get the information they need to revisit the current theories that’s what science is all about isn’t it? From time to time something unexpected will come up and that is great!
I went to a supernova conference in June and also met alot of the above people. Talking about the two type Ia theories-this still very hotly debated. But the impression I get while listening to them is that the white dwarf in a binary system is favoured more than the Double Degenerate (DD) model. I have since read some papers on this and I am not so sure anymore. I have posed the above question to some of the above mentioned professionals to get their updated point of view. I just really hope that the new bright SN helps with that.
BTW thanks to all for the good wishes etc it does realy help:thumbsup:
11-12-2011, 12:27 PM
Now that we are heading away from Full Moon we may now get a chance to start observing the Supernova in NGC1404.
By the way there is another Bright Supernova in VIRGO
PSN J13085839-1531041 in NGC 4984 is now Mag 12.2 and rising.
NGC 4984 rises just after 01.00 so the galaxy should be at a reasonable hight about 02.30
So two mag 12 supernova in the sky is amazing.
See Here (http://www.rochesterastronomy.org/snimages/index.html)for information and images of of Supernova discoveries.
12-12-2011, 09:56 PM
I observed the Supernova again tonight, must be now very close to Mag 12.
Observed in eyepieces from 6mm Radian,very bright,9mm Radian easily seen 13mm nagler ditto and 17mm Nagler also quite noticable.
All observations where done with sky glow from twilight and later the moon.
The Supernova should be easily seen in scopes from 8" with high mag upwards.
12-12-2011, 10:44 PM
15-12-2011, 12:17 AM
Finally able to have another go at the SN. About 10-30pm nabbed it with direct vision at 150x in the 10mm Ethos, very clear, appears to almost outshine the core of the galaxy.
15-12-2011, 09:41 AM
Here's a really great 5 minute read from the news this morning, about the findings of the recent Type 1a, SN 2011fe.
The early-time light curve observations actually resulted in being able to constrain the 'old-red-giants and; white-dwarfs-in-the-double-degenerate-system' models !
Closest Type Ia supernova in decades solves a cosmic mystery (http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-12-closest-ia-supernova-decades-cosmic.html)
Some inspirational words here …
The paper will appear in the Dec 15 issue of Nature and sounds like a very interesting read.
15-12-2011, 07:59 PM
I took some photometry images of SN2011iv on the 13th. According to my measurements it was at V mag 12.4.
For those following this SN visually, if you'd like to try your eye, you can see the Ref Mags of the comparison stars in the table.
31-01-2012, 10:09 AM
We have just received word from a researcher with the Hubble Space Telescope who took spectra of this SN. In a nutshell Stu got a very nice email from them noting that they have "incredible data" from this SN and "best data since SN1992A" in fact it goes on to note the data they got was much better than SN1992A and a paper will be published later this year. Alas no HST image, well not yet.
So there ya go how about that, a tin shed on a cow farm in Oxford NZ to the Hubble Space Telescope - amateur astronomers contributing in a big way to the science of this wonderful hobby!
Great find Stu!
31-01-2012, 10:21 AM
Well done Stu, great to see Amateur/Professional cooperation :D
Thanks Peter for the update :thanx:
As you know the weather here has not been favourable to get any more observations of the Supernova :(
I suppose it is probably getting faint by now ?
Latest mag estimates is 13.7 so could possibly be visible in a 16" scope
31-01-2012, 10:28 AM
That is way cool!
24-02-2012, 01:47 PM
The accolades for Stu and his discovery of 2011iv just keep on coming from professional astronomers and researchers alike. It's not often amateurs get to see how their contribution can have an impact on science. So I thought the line below from an email received today from a prominent professional astronomer working in this field would be of interest to regular and noobie amateur astronomers here on IIS and perhaps provide encouragement as well.
"2011iv: it is a great target, probably one of the best observed Ia's ever"
Apparently it is still being followed very closely by many professionals, and research papers will be issued in the near future.
As I have said before you never know where this amazing hobby can take you.
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