M82 and SN - C11 f10

© 2014 Klaus Brasch

The following was retrieved from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, at on March 2, 2014

Super Nova 2014J

"SN 2014J is a type-Ia supernova in Messier 82 (the 'Cigar Galaxy', M82) discovered in mid-January 2014. It is the closest type-Ia supernova discovered in the past 42 years. It was discovered accidentally during an undergraduate teaching session at University of London Observatory. SN 2014J is currently the subject of an intense observing campaign by professional astronomers, and is bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers. On 31 January 2014 SN2014J stopped brightening, reaching its peak brightness at magnitude 10.5.

The supernova was discovered by astronomer Steve Fossey, of University College London. Fossey was training four undergraduate students (Ben Cooke, Guy Pollack, Matthew Wilde and Thomas Wright) to use a small 0.35-metre (14 in) telescope at University of London Observatory, located in Mill Hill, north London.

The discovery was serendipitous, because Fossey was not searching for supernovae and wanted to take advantage of a short gap in the cloud cover. He later said that "The weather was closing in, with increasing cloud, so instead of the planned practical astronomy class, I gave the students an introductory demonstration of how to use the CCD camera on one of the observatory’s automated 0.35–metre telescopes.

At 19:20 GMT on 21 January 2014, Fossey and his students noticed a bright new star in their images of the galaxy Messier 82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy. After comparing their image to archival ones of the same galaxy, they used observations with a second telescope to eliminate the possibility of an instrumental artefact. Their discovery was reported to the International Astronomical Union's Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, who confirmed that they were the first to spot the supernova and assigned it the name SN 2014J as the tenth supernova discovered in 2014."

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