Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82 (SN 2014J)

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Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82 (SN 2014J)

Post by owlice » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:46 pm

At UT 2014 Jan 22.305, we obtained a spectrum of PSN_J09554214+6940260 (discoverer: S. J. Fossey) with the Dual Imaging Spectrograph on the ARC 3.5m telescope. We classify this as a Type Ia supernova with a Si II velocity of 20000 km/s. The best superfit match is SN2002bo at -14d. The supernova has a red continuum and deep Na D absorption.

We further note that at UT 2014 Jan 21.158, the supernova is visible in Palomar 48-inch images but it is too saturated to measure a magnitude. iPTF upper limits (R=20.4 mag) are prior to Jan 13.

Panchromatic follow-up is encouraged.
http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=5786

http://www.skymania.com/wp/2014/01/brig ... html/8362/
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:25 pm

"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
— Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by owlice » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:08 am

The discovery was a fluke – a 10 minute telescope workshop for undergraduate students that led to a global scramble to acquire confirming images and spectra of a supernova in one of the most unusual and interesting of our near-neighbour galaxies.

Tom Wright: “One minute we’re eating pizza then five minutes later we’ve helped to discover a supernova. I couldn’t believe it. It reminds me why I got interested in astronomy in the first place”
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps-faculty/maps- ... n/maps1405
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by Ann » Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:23 am

What a fascinating supernova! http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=5786 pointed out that it is a young, reddened supernova of Type Ia. It is not surprising that the supernova is reddened, probably by dust, because M82 is a very dusty galaxy.

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:30 pm

owlice wrote:
The discovery was a fluke – a 10 minute telescope workshop for undergraduate students that led to a global scramble to acquire confirming images and spectra of a supernova in one of the most unusual and interesting of our near-neighbour galaxies.

Tom Wright: “One minute we’re eating pizza then five minutes later we’ve helped to discover a supernova. I couldn’t believe it. It reminds me why I got interested in astronomy in the first place”
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps-faculty/maps- ... n/maps1405
What a lovely discovery story!
From that same press release:
Ben Cooke: “The chances of finding anything new in the sky is astronomical but this was particularly astounding as it was one of the first images we had taken on this telescope. My career plan had been to continue my studies in astrophysics.It's going to be hard to ever top this though!“
We know that part of London well, as Paul (husband) used to work at the Medical Council in Mill Hill and had lodgings just across the park from the Observatory, and for many years I worked nearby. So, I can't get over being able to see ANY sky at all in London , through the normal January cloud cover! Let alone a supernova...

M

PS. EarthSky writes
The first to recognize the supernova, it seems, was a team of students at the University College London Observatory, inside the London city limits, on January 21, 2014
But the Observatory is actually within Greater London, not the ancient, one square mile, City of London.
This explains below the difference:
Learn Why the “City of London” is Not “London” in Just Under Five Minutes
Last edited by MargaritaMc on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by neufer » Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:21 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
EarthSky writes
The first to recognize the supernova, it seems, was a team of students at the
University College London Observatory, inside the London city limits, on January 21, 2014
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/22/kaboom_nearby_galaxy_m82_hosts_a_new_supernova.html?wpisrc=burger_bar wrote:
During a weekly online virtual star party, an amateur astronomer actually
caught the supernova on Jan. 19, 2014, before it was officially discovered!
Unfortunately, he was too busy discussing the lack of supernovas in M82 to notice that he was actually seeing one.
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by Ann » Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:27 pm

Art wrote:
Unfortunately, he was too busy discussing the lack of supernovas in M82 to notice that he was actually seeing one.
:shock:
:lol2: :lol2:

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by neufer » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:35 am

Ann wrote:
MargaritaMc wrote:
EarthSky writes
"The first to recognize the supernova, it seems, was a team of students at the
University College London Observatory, inside the London city limits, on January 21, 2014
"
Art wrote:
http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/01/22/kaboom_nearby_galaxy_m82_hosts_a_new_supernova.html?wpisrc=burger_bar wrote:
During a weekly online virtual star party, an amateur astronomer actually
caught the supernova on Jan. 19, 2014, before it was officially discovered!
Unfortunately, he was too busy discussing the lack of supernovas in M82 to notice that he was actually seeing one.
:shock: :lol2: :lol2: Ann
Last edited by neufer on Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by owlice » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:13 am

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by owlice » Fri Jan 24, 2014 10:20 am

Here's the discovery image, shared by Fossey on Twitter:
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:27 pm

Sky and Telescope noted:
Remarkably, the supernova went undiscovered for a week as it brightened. Prediscovery unfiltered CCD images by K. Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, show nothing at its location to as faint as magnitude 17.0 through January 14.5. But on January 15.57 is was magnitude 14.4; on January 16.64 it was 13.9; on January 17.61, 13.3; January 19.62, 12.2; and January 20.62, 11.9.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by Nitpicker » Fri Jan 24, 2014 6:41 pm

Those look to be rather useful prediscovery images. I wonder if K. Itagaki noticed the blip on Jan 15.57 and decided to keep an eye on it, or whether it was part of a more automated supernova search, or some other case.

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by geckzilla » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:27 pm

MargaritaMc wrote:
Sky and Telescope noted:
Remarkably, the supernova went undiscovered for a week as it brightened. Prediscovery unfiltered CCD images by K. Itagaki of Yamagata, Japan, show nothing at its location to as faint as magnitude 17.0 through January 14.5. But on January 15.57 is was magnitude 14.4; on January 16.64 it was 13.9; on January 17.61, 13.3; January 19.62, 12.2; and January 20.62, 11.9.
Hmm, we can make a little animation out of those frames.
m82nova.gif
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by owlice » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:30 pm

There've been comments in the community that this supernova is so bright, automated surveys may have taken it for a foreground object.
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by geckzilla » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:32 pm

I'm dubious about an automated survey being fooled like that, but I guess it would depend on the method of detection.
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Jan 24, 2014 7:52 pm

This , for me, is an interesting link to watch:Alert Notice 495: Bright Type-Ia Supernova PSN J09554214+6940260 and Observing Campaign

By the way, does anyone know why K. Itagaki didn't report the finding as a supernova? He has found a supernova before.

M

PS. Nice animation, Geckzilla.
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by neufer » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:58 pm

http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/highlights/Bright-Supernova-in-M82-241477661.html wrote:
<<For those hampered by clouds or lack of a telescope,
Italian observer Gianluca Masi plans an online supernova-viewing session with his Virtual Telescope Project on Saturday,
January 25th, at 20:30 Universal Time (3:30 p.m. EST)>>
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:09 am

Thank you for the link, Art. It was a most interesting session.
The Virtual Telescope Project: animation and spectroscopy
excerpt from article:
Above is a nice animation, showing M 82 before and after the supernova explosion, with SN 2014J beautifully blinking: both images were collected with the the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit.

Below is a very interesting spectrum, collected on 22 Jan. 2014 with the Celestron C14 robotic unit, equipped with a 100 lines/mm diffraction grating. The graph, plotted with RSpec, shows a prominent Si II absorption feature, sitting at about 6010 Angstroms. It shows this is a type Ia supernova.

The rest wavelength of such a feature is 6355 Angstrom, so there is a blue-shift of 345 Angstrom. M 82 is also receding at about 200 km/s. From here, an expanding rate of 16.000-18.000 km/s for the supernova shell can be inferred.

In a comment, Gianluca Masi says...

"This is a raw spectrum, not corrected for instrumental response. I was just interested in seeing the supernova type. "

http://www.virtualtelescope.eu/2014/01/ ... ctroscopy/
Margarita
"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by Ann » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:23 am

Thank you, Margarita, very interesting!

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:46 pm

A bit belatedly, I've come across this article in New Scientist of 14 February 2014.
Urban supernova-spotting at London's hidden observatory
... Larger, more remote facilities find supernovas by automatically scanning the sky. Software sifts through the images and sends alerts if it finds something. But the new supernova resides in the nearby Cigar Galaxy, which has a complex structure that fooled the automatons. "The professional facilities missed it. They have it in their images but they didn't spot it because they rely on software checking," says staff astronomer Steve Fossey.
ULO's oldest telescope, dating back to 1862, is anything but automated. Three metres long and adorned with gleaming brass, it requires careful hand-positioning and uses weights and clockwork to compensate for Earth's motion. ...
There is a nice picture of London clouds over the ULO telescope!

M
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&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by MargaritaMc » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:01 am

"In those rare moments of total quiet with a dark sky, I again feel the awe that struck me as a child. The feeling is utterly overwhelming as my mind races out across the stars. I feel peaceful and serene."
&mdash; Dr Debra M. Elmegreen, Fellow of the AAAS

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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82

Post by orin stepanek » Thu Feb 27, 2014 11:12 pm

Orin

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UC Berkeley: SN2014J is "a little weird"

Post by MargaritaMc » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:31 am

http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/02/ ... tle-weird/
A paper to be published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters in the March edition reports that this SN brightened faster than is expected of a Type 1a supernova.
University of California, Berkeley:
Closest, brightest supernova in decades is also a little weird

By Robert Sanders, Media Relations | February 27, 2014

BERKELEY —
A bright supernova discovered only six weeks ago in a nearby galaxy is provoking new questions about the exploding stars that scientists use as their main yardstick for measuring the universe.
more at:
http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2014/02/ ... tle-weird/
Journal Reference:
WeiKang Zheng, Isaac Shivvers, Alexei V. Filippenko, Koichi Itagaki, Kelsey I. Clubb, Ori D. Fox, Melissa L. Graham, Patrick L. Kelly, Jon C. Mauerhan. ESTIMATING THE FIRST-LIGHT TIME OF THE TYPE IA SUPERNOVA 2014J IN M82. The Astrophysical Journal, 2014; 783 (1): L24 DOI: 10.1088/2041-8205/783/1/L24

The URL for the online version is given as http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/783/1/L24, but I got no response from it just now - so it may be uploaded later on.
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82 (SN 2014J)

Post by bystander » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:32 pm

M82 SN2014J: Chandra Searches for Trigger of Nearby Supernova
NASA | MSFC | SAO | CXC | 2014 Aug 14
New data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory offer a glimpse into the environment of a star before it exploded earlier this year, and insight into what triggered one of the closest supernovas witnessed in decades.

The data gathered on the Jan. 21 explosion, a Type Ia supernova, allowed scientists to rule out one possible cause. These supernovas may be triggered when a white dwarf takes on too much mass from its companion star, immersing it in a cloud of gas that produces a significant source of X-rays after the explosion.

Astronomers used NASA's Swift and Chandra telescopes to search the nearby Messier 82 galaxy, the location of the explosion, for such an X-ray source. However, no source was found, revealing the region around the site of the supernova is relatively devoid of material.

"While it may sound a bit odd, we actually learned a great deal about this supernova by detecting absolutely nothing," said Raffaella Margutti of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study. "Now we can essentially rule out that the explosion was caused by a white dwarf continuously pulling material from a companion star."

This supernova, SN 2014J, could instead have been caused by the merger of two white dwarf stars, an event that should result in little or no X-rays after the explosion. Further observations could rule out or confirm other possible triggers. ...

No X-Rays from the Very Nearby Type Ia SN 2014J: Constraints on Its Environment - R. Margutti et al
APOD (2014 Jan 24) http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=32807
HEAPOW (2014 Feb 03) http://asterisk.apod.com/viewtopic.php?t=32909
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Re: Astronomer's Telegram: Supernova in M82 (SN 2014J)

Post by bystander » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:51 pm

Type IA Supernovae May Stem From the Fusion of Two White Dwarfs
Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA) | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) | 2014 Aug 20
Type Ia supernovae happen when a white dwarf, the “corpse” of a star similar to the Sun, absorbs material from a twin star until it reaches a critical mass--1.4 times that of the Sun—and explodes. Because of their origin, all these explosions share a very similar luminosity. This uniformity made type Ia supernovae ideal objects to measure distances in the universe, but the study of supernova 2014J suggests a scenario that would invalidate them as “standard candles".

"Type Ia supernovae are considered standard candles because their constitution is very homogeneous and practically all of them reach the same maximum luminosity. They even allowed us to discover that the universe was expanding at an accelerating rate. However, we still don’t know what stellar systems give rise to this type of supernovae,” says Miguel Ángel Pérez Torres, researcher at the Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA-CSIC) in charge of the study.

A new model postulating the fusion of two white dwarfs is now challenging the predominant one, consisting of a white dwarf and a normal star. The new scenario does not imply the existence of a maximum mass limit and will not, therefore, necessarily produce explosions of similar luminosity.

SN 2014J, A SUPERNOVA VERY NEAR BY

The results mentioned above were obtained from the study of supernova 2014J, situated 11.4 million light years away from our planet, using the EVN and eMERLIN networks of radio telescopes. “It is a phenomenon that very seldom occurs in our immediate universe. 2014J has been the Ia type supernova closest to us since 1986, when the telescopes were much less sensitive, and it may well be the only one we’ll be able to observe in such vicinity in the next one hundred and fifty years,” says Pérez Torres (IAA-CSIC).

Radio observation makes it possible to reveal what stellar systems lie behind type Ia supernovae. If the explosion proceeds from a white dwarf being nourished by a twin star, for example, a great amount of gas should be present in the environment; after the explosion, the material ejected by the supernova will collide with this gas and produce an intense emission of X rays and radio waves. By contrast, a couple of white dwarfs will not generate this gaseous envelope and, therefore, there will be no emission of either X rays or radio waves.

"We have not detected radio emissions on SN 2014J, which favours the second scenario", says Pérez Torres. "If these results were to gain general acceptance, the cosmological consequences would be weighty, because the use of type Ia supernovae to measure distances would come into question,” the researcher concludes.

Constraints on the progenitor system and the environs of SN 2014J from deep radio observations - M.A. Perez-Torres et al
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