Newly Discovered Supernovas in NGC 3448 and M82

February 10, 2014



Photographers: (Top Image) Patrick Wiggins; (Bottom Image) Kosmas Gazeas
Summary Authors: (Top Image) Patrick Wiggins; (Bottom Image) Kosmas Gazeas

Top Image:
In mid January I was lucky enough to discover a supernova -- SN 2014G. The G indicates it’s the seventh supernova discovered in 2014. It was found in galaxy NGC 3448 while observing from my home observatory near Salt Lake City. The pre-discovery image I used to compare with the SN 2014G image was acquired on January 6, 2014. The actual date of the discovery was January 14, 2014 at 07:36:02 UT, when a nearly full Moon brightened the sky.

NGC 3448 is about 78 million light years away in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. Light from this Type II supernova explosion that’s just reaching Earth now started its journey when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. This supernova is far too faint to be seen with the naked eye -- a fairly large telescope must be used.  

Bottom Image:
Shown at bottom is a Type Ia supernova (SN 2014J) that was also discovered in mid January in the direction of Ursa Major, but this exploded star is in the Cigar Galaxy (M82), some 12 million light years distant. Its discoverer is Steve Fossey of University College London. SN 2014J is evidently nearer to us than any other Type Ia supernova sighted in the past 42 years. Though this supernova is relatively nearby, it can't be seen with the unaided eye.

Image details for SN 2014G: Both images are 15 second exposures taken with a Paramount ME, C-14 telescope operating at f/5.5 and ST-10XME camera binned 3x3. FOV is about 18 x 26 arc minutes. Software used: TheSky6, CCDSoft & Orchestrate.

Image details for SN 2014J: Image taken from the University of Athens Observatory on January 23, 2014 ; DFM 0.4 m f/8 telescope; f/6.3 focal reducer; ST10XME CCD camera with IR filter (Bessell specifications); BVRI color composite with B:60 min, V:30 min, R:15 min, I:15 min; Image processing was done with MaxIm DL, AIP4WIN, Adobe Photoshop CS2.