Friday, June 3, 2011

13th mag. supernova in famous Whirlpool galaxy M 51 - widely observed before even official ...

Normally there is an IAU Circular, spawning alerts through various astronomy news services, leading to observations - but with a supernova discovered in the night June 1/2 in the famous galaxy Messier 51 it was very different. As this blog 'goes to print' object "PSN J13303600+4706330" still hasn't been announced officially as a supernova, yet the web is full of great pictures and other data, including spectral information confirming a type II SN. There are early confirming pictures here, here (triggered by yours truly last night and spreading quickly), here, here (in the order in which I learned of them) and several here. Apparently the supernova was already there on May 31 but seems to be absent on May 30; here is also the regular view of M 51. • There is also a new Nova Scorpii, also discussed here (picture). • Epsilon Aurigae is almost back & in conjunction with the Sun now. • The H-Alpha Sun today, prominences on May 25 and ideas regarding dark sunspots.

The "midnight solar eclipse" was widely observed in northern Europe and also in Russia and N America: more previews here, here and here, pictures from Russia here and here, from Finland here (with sunspots!), here and here, from Sweden here and here, from Norway here, here and here, from Iceland here, here, here and here (later) and from Alaska here - picture collections can also be found here, here, here, here (related article) and here. • The 1-day Moon after the eclipse was imaged in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil. • More previews of the June 15 lunar eclipse here, hier and hier. • The color of the full moon enhanced. • Saturn at Porrima.

The morning planets and the Moon on May 31 from Poland, May 30 from Argentina, May 29 (and other dates) from South Africa and May 28 from California and Australia. • Centaur 174P/Echeclus in outburst, and image of 2009 P1 (Garradd) (which should be bright next year), new comets P/2011 JB15 (Spacewatch-Boattini) and C/2011 K1 (Schwartz-Holvorcen), Elenin still faint and still orbited by idiots - and anoth comet plunging into the Sun Mai 21st. • A fly-by by 2009 BD and a bolide in Georgia on May 20. • A little audio introduction to NLCs. • And glorious pictures by D. Caxete of the ISS & Endeavour in front of the Sun, plus some trails of the two later - and a video of the reentry over Yucatan.

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