What caused the recent supernova in the Pinwheel Galaxy?

In summary, the conversation is about an amateur astronomer who was working on imaging the M101 Pinwheel Galaxy and was hoping to discover a supernova. They were experimenting with their equipment and had some issues with color balance and exposures. The astronomer realized that they may have unknowingly captured the supernova in their photos. The conversation also mentions a clip of a single subframe taken with a different scope showing the supernova. The topic of measuring the light curve is also brought up. The conversation ends with a reference to an amateur astronomer who unknowingly captured a rare supernova and a link to an article about it.
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  • #2
Holy cow, I've been working on imaging that galaxy while experimenting with my equipment. Weather didn't cooperate last night, bit I was planning to try again tonight. Discovering a supernova would be awesome, but I'm not sure I would notice, lol.
 
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  • #3
On second thought, there's a decent chance I would have noticed. One of the issues I was working on/experimenting with is color balance/exposures. My result is below (similar orientation as the discovery photo), which has some weird color artifacts in overexposed stars. Since I was working on that and since I shot different colors on different days, I likely would have noticed an oddly colored star, showing up in red and green but not blue, for example.

M101-LRGB 2023-04-13.jpg


And here's a clip of a single subframe I just took with a different scope, with the supernova still visible/circled:

Supernova.jpg
 
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  • #4
So, are you going to measure the light curve?
 

1. What is a supernova?

A supernova is a powerful explosion that occurs at the end of a star's life. It is one of the most energetic events in the universe, releasing an immense amount of energy and creating new elements.

2. What caused the recent supernova in the Pinwheel Galaxy?

The exact cause of the recent supernova in the Pinwheel Galaxy is still unknown. However, it is believed that it was triggered by the collapse of a massive star's core or the merging of two smaller stars.

3. How do scientists study supernovae?

Scientists use various telescopes and instruments to study supernovae. They observe the explosion's light, radiation, and remnants to gather information about its properties and the processes involved.

4. Is the recent supernova in the Pinwheel Galaxy dangerous to Earth?

No, the Pinwheel Galaxy is located about 21 million light-years away from Earth, which is a safe distance. Supernovae can be dangerous if they occur in our own galaxy, but even then, the chances of Earth being directly affected are very low.

5. What can we learn from studying supernovae?

Studying supernovae can provide valuable insights into the life cycle of stars, the formation of elements, and the evolution of the universe. They also serve as important tools for measuring cosmic distances and understanding the expansion of the universe.

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