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Supernova Discovery, What If?

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#1 Frank2

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 02:20 PM

With so many amateurs looking at, and photographing galaxies, what to do if you notice a star that shouldn't exist in or around a galaxy? Seems like someone should be notified, but who/how? The discovery of new supernovas seems to get a lot of attention. This is a very democratic opportunity for anyone with a telescope to make a "discovery" and possibly become a footnote in a research paper.

#2 Tailspin45

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 02:26 PM

http://www.cbat.eps....tDiscovery.html



#3 deSitter

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 02:46 PM

With so many amateurs looking at, and photographing galaxies, what to do if you notice a star that shouldn't exist in or around a galaxy? Seems like someone should be notified, but who/how? The discovery of new supernovas seems to get a lot of attention. This is a very democratic opportunity for anyone with a telescope to make a "discovery" and possibly become a footnote in a research paper.

The classic way was a telegram to a clearinghouse at Harvard University Observatory. Of course there is likely a website now. Some years ago I found an impact scar on Jupiter during casual observing. A guy in Australia beat me to the punch by some hours :) Anthony Wesley, "Bird", a great planetary imager.

 

-drl



#4 Fabricius

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 03:21 PM

"Please include: observations on a second night showing that the object has not moved".

 

While you wait for a second non-cloudy night,  you might check the "Latest Supernovae" website to verify whether someone else discovered the candidate supernova. Most of them are discovered by automated surveys, e.g. ATLAS.


Edited by Fabricius, 27 February 2024 - 03:24 PM.


#5 afd33

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 03:26 PM

I was thinking about the same thing this week. I probably wouldn't notice until morning when I blinked my subs, but I would do a quick google search to see if I could find anything. After that I'd probably just come on here and see if anybody else sees the same thing. I figure eventually somebody would report it to the correct place.



#6 robin_astro

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 08:35 PM

Potential supernova discoveries are now (since 2016) handled by the IAU though their Transient Name Server website

https://www.wis-tns.org/

so after plate solving your image to produce accurate coordinates a search there would be the first step,

 

Followed by a search for any possible minor planets at the time of observation (or even major ones, there was only quite recently a reported "discovery" of Neptune by a professional team !)

https://ssd.jpl.nasa...sb_ident.html#/

 

Then a confirming image or get someone else to confirm

 

Take care also when checking if the star is present in reference images eg DSS, SDSS etc that the star is not hidden in  overexposed areas of the galaxy in the image. There are some classics like this that repeatedly pop up from time to time.

 

Good Luck!

 

Cheers

Robin



#7 robin_astro

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Posted 27 February 2024 - 08:39 PM

Note that even if the supernova has already been reported, if you have an image showing it which was taken before the discovery time, this can be particularly useful to constrain the time of explosion eg this recent request to the BAA

 https://britastro.or...cld#post-621838

 

Robin




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