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M82 Supernova 2014J...

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  • Douglas Norton
    January 24th, 2014 I went to Blackbird hoping the parking lot was accessible. It was. And there were no issues getting in or out. Only an inch or two of snow
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 24, 2014
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      January 24th, 2014
       
      I went to Blackbird hoping the parking lot was accessible. It was. And there were no issues getting in or out. Only an inch or two of snow on the ground. It was a bit slippery so I had to be careful. I set up my scope as fast as I could, having arrived just shortly after sunset. It was 10 degrees and I knew I wouldn't be able to tolerate the temps for very long. It didn't take long for the scope to cool down. The sky was extremely clear and steady.
       
      I printed out a finder chart of the galaxy and where the supernova should be. It was easy to spot at low powers. With the supernova nestled right inside the galaxy it creates a string of four stars in a lazy arc with the supernova at the one end. I studied it with all of my eyepieces going up and down in power for about 45 minutes before I finally gave up. My fingers and toes just couldn't handle it any longer. The sky just got clearer and darker and I really hated to leave the field. I estimated the magnitude of the supernova at about 11th magnitude. I'm no expert in estimating magnitudes but I used the stars BD +70 587 (mag +9.14) and TYC 4383-0593-1 (mag 12.1) as comparison stars.
       
      Tonight was a special night as I love observing supernovas since they are so fleeting and rare. Seeing the death of a star 12 million light years away is just awesome. I hope more of the club member get out and witness this event and report what they observe.

      Douglas Norton
      IMCA #7432
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