Daily Image

Click here or on the picture for a full size image.

Supernova 2011fe revisited

Submitter: Albert van Duin
Description: On August 27, 2011, Supernova 2011fe was discovered by the PTF (AJDI 02-09-2011 http://www.astron.nl/dailyimage/main.php?date=20110902)

Last week I imaged M101 again to see how the supernova is developing. The image is a comparison of my September 18, 2011 image and the January 24, 2012 image. The brightness of the supernova is around magnitude 14 now, last September it was still shining at magnitude 10.

The colour difference between the two images is mainly caused by the extinction of the (blue) light of the galaxy by our atmosphere when it was imaged last September, when the galaxy was positioned quite low in the sky just after the end of twilight. On the other hand, the January image was made while M101 was almost in the zenit.

The last few months I got two requests to use the September image for publication. First from the AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers) for use on their Christmas card, and shortly after that from Sky&Telescope for use in their magazine (March 2012 issue). I was wondering why they would want to use my image when there are many excellent astrophotographers based in the USA... Then it dawned on me that the image was taken when M101 was positioned low in the north, even for me. Around September 18, twilight ends at almost the same local time all over the world. But since we are living around 53 degrees North latitude here, for me M101 was positioned quite a bit higher in the sky than for most Americans, who live between 45 and 28 degrees North. So I just had more favourable conditions!
Copyright: Albert van Duin, astropix.nl
  Follow us on Twitter
Please feel free to submit an image using the Submit page.