Friday, February 07, 2014

Supernova 2014J in M82: Some more pictures and how to spot it

The Type Ia supernova 2004J in M82 is near peak brightness, and should be easy to spot if you live in the northern hemisphere and have a small telescope or large binoculars. Brian Dodson has a good guide to finding it on the sky.

Here are two more images of M82 taken by Swift UVOT, the second taken some years before the SN and the first taken on January 22, the day after its initial discovery. [Images from NASA/GSFC media site, credit NASA/Swift/P. Brown, TAMU]. Note that the SN is circled in the first image. The large white blob surrounding a blue and white point is not the SN, but a bright foreground star.