Supernova Watch Live begins tonight!


The great thing about time lapse and high speed photography, is they give you a sense of the orders of magnitude of time, from the beat of a humming birds wings (below), to the movement of a distant planet.

However, there really is a limit to the motions you can see, and capture in the heavens on a human time-scale.  The further away things are, the more they have to change for you to be able to see them.  I figured that after sunset on the moon,

the rotation of Jupiter,

and the motion of Uranus and its moons, that was pretty much as far an object as you could look at!

Then this happens:

http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=3581

Yup there is a supernova popping off in a nearby galaxy, M101, which by pure chance I took a picture of last month! and yes, I intend to do the time lapse of a star exploding in another galaxy!

M101, taken on 29th July 2011, with cpc1100 and canon60D (~10min exposure)

Now it should be said that this is a MONSTROUS undertaking.  SNs typically brighten and fade over a period of weeks!  This is all but perfect, arguably a once in lifetime experience.  A potentially bright SN, in a nearby galaxy, near the new moon, when I have the time to spend on it!  We are a few days before the new moon, which means I can get good observations for maybe two weeks, before the moons glare washes the galaxy out.

Supernova Watch Live begins tonight!

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11 Responses to “Supernova Watch Live begins tonight!”

  1. Merlin Stadler Says:

    fascinating, can’t wait for the timelapse !

  2. PCPete (aka Cephas Borg) Says:

    I wish you good seeing… For two whole weeks!

    Now, get out there and get posting!

    P.S. Don’t forget to FOCUS… 😉

  3. George Says:

    I look forward to it! though saying a supernova is ‘popping off’ is a bit like saying the universe is ‘quite large’.

    • PCPete (aka Cephas Borg) Says:

      Although… M101 does look a bit like a Catherine wheel!

      Can’t wait until Betelgeuse “pops off”…

  4. PCPete (aka Cephas Borg) Says:

    You’re absolutely right… At 20,874,008 LY, it takes around 0.4 solar masses going “pop” to catch our attention…

    But the farther it is from us, the fewer people seem to be interested. I can feel a new law about to be articulated – maybe the ‘Inverse Paris Hilton’ Effect?

  5. emikochan13 Says:

    I can’t wait ^_^ Always wanted to see a supernova in action, the universe is a majestic place 😀

  6. Adam Says:

    Live? Is there a stream?

  7. phoebe Says:

    well me and my dad were watching for the super nova for about an hour and about 8.45 this rounded square, red, semi transparent shape hovers over ursa major traveling faster then ISS and we are baffled does anyone know what it is ???

  8. fran Says:

    do you have any useful tips on how to photograph this event?

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