View Full Version here: : Supernova
15-06-2012, 10:42 AM
Hi guys just wondering if anyone in Melbourne can show me supernova through there telescope
Or it can only be seen through photos?
Thank you in advance
15-06-2012, 02:53 PM
There are very few Supernova (perhaps 2-3) discovered each year that get bright enough to be viewed directly through amateur telescopes. The most recent bright Supernova 2012cg reached mag 12.2 in the galaxy NGC4424 in Virgo. This was around mid May so it may still be a visual object in larger telescopes. You will need a comparison chart that shows before and after to enable you to pick the Supernova, the link below may help.
Out of the 4 discoveries that I have made (and all by telescopic/ccd) only 1 has been bright enough to be seen visually in amateur scopes, indeed that honor goes to IIS member Astroron, a prolific observer of SN when they are bright enough. I missed out due to cloud before it faded beyond my visual limit.
Of the 34 discoveries by the BOSS team only 3 come to mind that became a visual target.
We regularly announce our discoveries in the science forum and from time to time other bright supernova discoveries are announced in the visual forum.
So what is it like to discover a supernova? well quite an adrenalin rush that gets you thinking about what happened to that star, the incredible unimaginable forces released and the often hundreds of millions of years that the light travelled across space to spill onto my ccd in my tinshed observatory. What was happening here on Earth at the time of the SN - one of my SN exploded some 260 million years ago, the light I captured began its journey when dinosaurs still ruled the Earth. And when you do (and you will, just be patient) get to observe a Supernova in your 'scope then I hope you have an adrenalin rush and ponder similar thoughts... after all its the reason you are here asking the question in the first place!
15-06-2012, 06:22 PM
One day. I hope
There was a good one in M101 last year that reached mag+9.9.
It was as far as supernova go a very bright one and lots of people got the chance to see it(not me :( though)
I'd love to see one one day just to say I have. I suppose patience is the key.
16-06-2012, 10:27 AM
As an idea of the challenge, I've seen SN2012cg in NGC4424 in Virgo on two of the past three nights, using an 8" dobsonian scope. The first night was from a dark site, and the SN was bright and easy, with the faint smudge of the galaxy behind and around it, and two other galaxies (NGC4417 & NGC4442) in the field of view. The second night was from suburban Melbourne, and I could see none of the galaxies, but two stars, one of which was the SN, were just barely visible with averted vision through the city skyglow in the appropriate field. That's for perhaps the brightest SN of the year at 11.5-12th mag! In fairness I wouldn't fancy showing anyone the SN in Melbourne, because it was not just "there" in the eyepiece (say like a bright star cluster), it's hard to see even with time and with practised averted vision. From a dark site, or with a larger scope, I'd say definitely yes!
A good image of this SN is at:
The three-star asterism at lower left was a great guide, and the faint two stars were the SN and the field star just to it's upper right at the one-o'clock position.
People were seeing the M101 SN with binoculars, but I moved to the southern hemisphere just before it went off so I never saw it!
20-06-2012, 08:00 PM
thank you guys for your replies
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