Friday, August 26, 2011

Closest Type Ia supernova in decades explodes in galaxy Messier 101, brightening rapidly, should reach 10-11 mag. soon

It was discovered very early in its lightcurve, and - as hectic reports indicate - brightened by several magnitudes over just the first day, reaching some 13 mag. right now: early pictures of the galaxy with the SN - no proper number yet - can be seen here, here and here while the situation regarding a progenitor isn't quite clear yet. What is clear is that a Ia supernova that close is a great opportunity for science as also reflected in quick press releases from LBL and UCSB; more early stories here, here and here. If a typical case, the brightness of the SN in M 101 should climb to 11 or even 10 mag. in the coming days, easily surpassing the SN in M 51 some weeks ago.

On the Sun the evolution of a spot group and a weird prominence on Aug. 19. • CMEs can now be tracked all the way to Earth by STEREO: press material here, here, here, here, here and here. • Speculation about solar storms in future decades (complex relationships). • A method to detect sunspots before they're seen: press material here, here and here = here and stories here, here, here, hier, hier, hier and hier plus in a video. • A proposal for a 2017 eclipse megamovie, also hailed here, the TSI of the past and an Aug. 23 aurora.

Regarding comets some solar forward scatter math for Elenin which may be decaying though; also STEREO pictures of Aug. 19, Aug. 16 and Aug. 15 and another anti-hoax video. • Garradd on Aug. 22, Aug. 21 (more and more), Aug. 20 (more, more and more), Aug. 18 and Aug. 16. • Van Ness on Aug. 22 (fragment B still there) and a new comet PANSTARRS. • There could/should be meteors after an August 8 event in the U.S. (more), and from a Kenyan fall widely reported in July impressive specimen are in.

In other news from the Perseids - the peak stayed at a meager 63 - a report from the Provence and video stills plus a video with analysis of the ISS case. • A report on the Target NEO study and stats from the La Sagra NEO Hunt. • A Caltech Release, the final part of the story and another one on strange KBO 2007 OR10. • More sober and combative thoughs by plus an interview with Mike Brown on dwarf planets, a press release on wide KBO binaris and what happened 5 years ago. • The best image yet (I know) of NanoSail D and its blinking pattern, plus a fine image of doomed ROSAT. • Finally a nice timelapse movie and another one.

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