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Old 30-08-2011, 08:05 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
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Anyone take any M101 images before the supernova?

Passing this on..


Members of the LCOGT supernova team have been monitoring the evolution of a newly discovered supernova in M101. The discovery was made by the Palomar Transient Factory team on 24 August, which LCOGT astronomers are part of. Already it has attracted lots of international press attention and made the front page of Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Now we need your help! We are looking for anyone who may have observed M101 between 22-24 August.

The spectroscopic follow up of this new supernova in M101 (PTF11kly/SN2011fe) indicates it is of Type Ia: a thermonuclear explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf star. These scientifically valuable events contribute to several areas of astronomy, including cosmology and the chemical enrichment of the Universe.

As M101 is only 21 million light years away, PTF11kly offers a unique opportunity for study because it was likely bright enough to be seen before the PTF discovered it, closer to the time of its explosion. Images from around this time will help us to constrain the exact time of explosion, and how fast it increased in brightness at early times. These measurements will help us to understand the physics involved in its explosion, which will in turn impact the many areas of astronomy involving Type Ia supernovae. People who may have useful data are encouraged to contact us by sending an email to

Anyone whose images we use scientifically will of course be credited for their contribution.

With many thanks,

Melissa Graham (LCOGT supernova team) for the PTF.
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