Thursday, February 28, 2008

Did supernova 2005md make a comeback after 3 years?

According to today's THE ASTRONOMER Electronic Circular No 2426, there is either a new supernova just 1/2 arc second next to the location of SN 2005md - or this supernova has suddenly rebrightened: "KAIT images of Feb. 11-13 UT show an object (at mag 18.5) at: RA 06h47m19s.10 DEC +33 34' 24.5" (2000), which is 21.7"E and 23.1" N of the nucleus of NGC 2274. This position differs from the reported position of 2005md by 0".1 in R.A. and 0".4 in Decl; 2005md was discovered on 2005 Dec.25.35 at mag 18.1 (CBET 332) and was classified as a possible young type-II supernova by Modjaz et al. (IAUC 8650).

However, the reported spectrum only showed a featureless blue continuum, with no obvious broad supernova features. KAIT images of 2005md also showed that the object declined quickly, and it was fainter than mag 19.8 in 2006 January. At the distance of NGC 2274 (about 70 Mpc), 0".5 corresponds to a linear distance of about 120 pc, so it is possible that the object detected in the 2008 Feb. images is a new supernova very close in position to 2005md and that the two objects are unrelated."

In other news comet Holmes is now closing in on the California Nebula, leading to spectacular images already. And an impressive animation shows the opposition effect on Saturn's rings (rings get brighter when the phase angle approaches 180°, planet does not).

1 comment:

charlotte said...

first off, i am completely new to astronomy, but i have always enjoyed stargazing. last night at around 10pm my husband and i spotted what we first thought was a UFO; it was a stationary, intensely bright point of strobe-like flashing light– sometimes violet, green and light blue. they were as intense as if they came from a jet.

we knew that when it started slowly arching across the sky with the other stars it was obviously an astronomical phenomena. but what? a planet? a supernova??

does anyone know of a supernova that was reported around march 8?

thanks, charlotte