Supernova 2002AP Charts (M-74) and updates...
- In case you all haven't heard about it, there is a Supernova in M-74
that was discovered at Mag 14 and has risen to Mag 13.5 or brighting in
the past 24 hours. It apparently looks like a very strange event,
perhaps even a Gamma Ray Burst seen from an angle that doesn't "flash"
us with the Rays.
Here's an AAVSO chart for it:
F and FR-scale charts for SN2001AP have been posted to the following URL:
Over the on the Amastro list, Brian Skiff has had the following to say:
"This thing has started to get the pros very excited. Three groups
have independently obtained spectra, and all report that it resembles
an event called SN 1998bw, which occurred in a very distant far-southern
galaxy, and which was associated with a strong gamma-ray burst. There's
been no GRB connected with this one, but a lot of models suggest the
gamma-rays are highly collimated or beamed such that if you're not in just
the right line-of-sight you don't see them. Just this evening the VLA was
used to observe the M74 SN, where it was detected at a very low level.
Followed by (@1:30 Friday):
"After I sent the note,
the Caltech group who did the VLA observation helpfully sent a follow-up
note to their original detection report. I've copied this below. The
VLA detection was of the supernova itself at radio wavelengths, not the
very short gamma-ray wavelengths. Kulkarni et al nevertheless recommend
looking for gamma rays (as noted below), since there's doubtless some
diffusion even from a collimated beam.
Don't ask me about the other serious astrophysics described in the
note below---that's stuff I know nothing about, though a gas heated up
to 30 _billion_ degrees sounds extraordinary no matter what. It is
clear this is not an ordinary nearby supernova like the ones in M81,
M51, or the LMC.
One point worth making, however, is that if you have CCD image of
the galaxy taken in the last ten days or two weeks, then it may be
valuable in helping establish the time of the onset of the outburst.
The amateur image of the M96 supernova taken a week or more before its
discovery a few years ago was found proved very valuable in constraining
models of supernovae eruptions.
The Moon of course was passing by M74 in the last two weeks, so useful
images are unlikely to have been taken (or kept).
Brian's complete message is at: