Popular Astronomy

February 2014

Ron Sontag, of Stanwood, Washinton State, USA, emailed the following description of the supernova in M82, which he observed using a 6" dobsonian reflector:

Sky Condition: Dark, clear, but with light interference from street lamps. Some high-altitude cirrus drifting by.
Telescope: 6" Newtonian Reflector, low power eye-piece, Dobsonian Mount, no tracking.

Observation: Spotted M81 and M82. Then by looking just to the side of M82, could barely make out the white dot of the Supernova.
Both galaxies were clearly visible but quite dim. M82 appeared very indistinct "fuzzy" and so the supernova stood out from the grey fuzzy background of the rest of the galaxy.

Dale Holt, using his 505mm reflctor and a cooled Watec 120N+ video camera, made the following three drawings of galaxies, the first, M99, showing the recent supernova:                                                         

          This supernova, designated Supernova 2014L, is a type 1c.  M99 is in the constellation Coma Berenices, and is about 50 million light years away. 

The supernova was discovered on 26.01.2014 via a 0.6m Schmidt telescope, during the THU-NAOC Transient Survey                                                              





Dale's second drawing is of galaxy M98, also in Coma Berenices.  It is not quite edge - on, and at about 44 million lght years distance is part of the Virgo cluster of galaxies.





The third drawing Dale produced is of galaxy NGC2525 in Puppis.  It is a good example of Hubble classification SBc, a barred spiral, loosly wound arms


    The section Director imaged the Eskimo Nebula, also known as NGC2392.

     For visual observers, this planetary nebula in Gemini will stand out from the neighbouring 9th magnitude star (near the top of this image) if an OIII filter is used.



Added by: