Feeds

New supernova pops up just over there

Grab your telescope and look for SN 2012aw in M95

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

It probably won’t get to a point where we’ll see it with the naked eye, but even amateur astronomers should be able to get set for a fairly unusual treat: an emerging supernova.

At the moment, it only rates as a “possible” supernova – although the well-known Bad Astronomy blog says it’s nearly certain – but the possibility of catching a supernova “in the act”, so to speak, is a hot prospect for astronomers.

The object, in the nearby M95 spiral galaxy, was observed two days ago, as this message sent to the International Astronomical Union (link posted to Slashdot) outlines.

Since then, other notes to the IAU’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams provide further follow-up reports, with links to images here and here.

With, again, credit to Bad Astronomy for the pointer, the Astrobob blog has a handy chart to help amateurs pick out M95. And since the supernova’s type is not yet classified, the observations of amateurs certainly won’t be sneered at by the experts.

Astrobob notes that an eight-inch telescope should suffice to see the M95 supernova.

M95 is a relative neighbour to the Milky Way in galactic terms – but it’s still 38 million light-years distant, so we don’t have to worry about being fried in our sleep. ®

Update: Since I wrote this, the supernova has been confirmed and named: its designation is SN 2012aw. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.