On the evening of May 24, 2020 I decided to try to photograph NGC5317, aka NGC5364. Knowing that NGC5363 was nearby I tried to see if I could fit both of these galaxies in the FOV of my camera. (These are both galaxies in eastern Virgo.) After taking several shots north and south of what I was pretty sure was NGC5317 and not seeing anything else in my DSLR view screen, I gave up and just centered on NGC5317 and started shooting my subs. The next evening, while reviewing my subs, I noticed that I had indeed captured NGC5363 on one of the sub images taken while moving the FOV around, but it was on the edge of the field and only on one sub-image. Then, wanting to verify which galaxy is which, I went to the DSS image obtained using Cartes du Ciel software. I thought to myself, “This should be easy to verify which galaxy is which because one of them has a bright star right next to the nucleus of the galaxy”. But when I checked the DSS image, neither of them had a bright star next to the nucleus. My first reaction was great, now I’ll have to study the star fields, figure out which way north is and verify which galaxy is which from the star fields. Then it hit me that this could be a supernova. Now this was at about 9 PM on Memorial Day and I had to go to work the next morning. I knew from checking out the “Transient Name Server” website that before reporting a possible supernova it was highly recommended that you get a second verifying image. So, I went to the backyard observatory at about 10:45 PM and got 100 15 second subs starting at about 11:15 PM. (I got to bed at about 12:30 and did make it to work the next morning.)
So, here it is Tuesday evening and all my new subs had this “star” right next to the nucleus of NGC5363. I went to the Transient Name Server website trying to figure out how to report this and ended up sending them an email using the “contact us” button. The next morning I got a reply suggesting that I make an “official” report, and stating that there had been no previous reports of anything in NGC5363. But I needed to create a logon to do that, which then needed to be approved. When I came home for lunch, I created my logon and that evening I submitted my report. (Which, by the way, I have no idea if I did correctly.)
The next day I got an automated email listing my discovery as 2020leu. However, as far as I know, no one else has yet to confirm the supernova. These days there are a few professional automated search teams/facilities that find DOZENS of supernovas every day. Most of these though, are extremely faint, in the range of 19th to 21st magnitude. It seems that the pros doing the classifications of supernovas are more interested in what is happening in the far off early universe where distance is measured by redshift, not lightyears.
So if anyone gets a chance, please try to photograph NGC5363. I’m beginning to feel like I might as well have reported a flying saucer. I’d like to hear from you if you are able to catch it before it gets too low in the west at sunset.
The attached files are the "discovery" image from 5/24 and the one of the "confirmation" images from 5/25. These are totally unprocessed except to reduce the file size and convert to jpeg format. The 5/24 image was rotated so that north is up. NGC5363 is at the very top of the 5/24 image just right of center.