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Monday, 29 August 2011

SPA ENB No. 314b

                 The SOCIETY for POPULAR ASTRONOMY
         Electronic News Bulletin No. 314b   2011 August 25
By Robin Scagell
British astronomers have announced the discovery of a supernova in
galaxy M101, which they claim is the nearest supernova of its type for
more than 40 years.  The object was discovered at magnitude 17, but
it appears to be rising in brightness, and the team says that it could
become as bright as magnitude 10 within the next few days.  That
would bring it well within the reach of small telescopes and even
large binoculars.  Amateur astronomers with suitable instruments
should  already be able to photograph the supernova, which has the
name PTF11kly.  Its position is RA 14:03:05.81, Dec +54:16:25.4.
M101 is currently well placed for observation; it is in Ursa Major,
not far from the well-known stars Mizar and Alkaid/Benetnasch in the
The supernova was first seen on August 24 at around 8 pm BST,
within the spiral arms of M101.  An image taken the previous night
had shown no such object in that position.  The discovery was made
from Palomar with the 48-inch Schmidt telescope, which is now operated
robotically by a team of British and American astronomers known as
the Palomar Transient Factory.  The object's spectrum shows that it
appears to  be a Type 1a supernova, which occurs when a white-dwarf
star in a binary system explodes.
Bulletin compiled by Clive Down
(c) 2011 the Society for Popular Astronomy
Good Clear Skies
Colin James Watling
Various Voluntary work-Litter Picking for Parish Council (Daytime) and also a friend of Kessingland Beach (Watchman)
Real Astronomer and head of the Comet section for LYRA (Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth Regional Astronomers) also head of K.A.G (Kessingland Astronomy Group) and Navigator (Astrogator) of the Stars (Fieldwork)

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