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Photons from a supernova
by Simon at 02:17 15/09/11 (Blogs::Simon)
I thought "What the hell, let's give it a go", as I put my Lumix TZ-8 on a tripod and pointed it out of my back door in the general direction of new supernova PTF11kly in M101, the Pinwheel Galaxy, 21 million light years away...
Here's a wide shot (60s at 800 ISO) - the Plough is mostly obscured by the tree, but Alkaid is the bright star about to sink into the centre of the roofline of the extension and Mizar/Alcor are just disappearing into the tree above and to the right.

M101 and the supernova are pretty much dead centre of the image but aren't visible in this wide shot:

This one is a very heavily processed 60s, 1600 ISO exposure of the tiny piece of sky I'm interested in. The random dots are noise in the camera chip, it's the diagonal trails we're looking at:

The AAVSO have a nice image of the supernova (they designate it SN2011fe) in the starfield which helps when locating this kind of thing:

And here's my image overlaid with the one from the AAVSO website, just so you don't have to take my word for it that I managed to grab a few photons at the end of their 21 million year journey :-)


JPG image (104 K) 60s at 800 ISO
JPG image (433 K) Supernova PTF11kly
JPG image (1473 K) Overlaid with the AAVSO image
JPG image (726 K) AAVSO image
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Photons from a supernova Simon - 02:17 15/09/11
Re: Photons from a supernova Steve - 02:48 15/09/11
Nice. That should seed a few more Gold elements to keep H.Samuel in business for a while longer. :-)


Re: Photons from a supernova Bruce Ure - 09:25 15/09/11
Nice work Mr Banton!

Love the typo in the original subject ("Photos from a supernova")!


Re: Photons from a supernova Jon Maidment - 10:14 15/09/11
Pretty cool, any thoughts on how many photons you managed to capture?
- Deleted User Account - 23:02 15/09/11
Re: Photons from a supernova Simon - 00:51 16/09/11
I'm now in discussion with a guy whose very popular "How to find the supernova" video on YouTube has a diagram that actually points to the wrong thing.