Messier 61 ... Spirial Galaxy with Supernova
(Click on Picture for larger view)
Added May 11, 20202...
Messier 61 ... Spirial Galaxy with Supernova SN 2020jfo .... May 11, 2020
M61 is a Spiral galaxy 52.5 million light-years from Earth. This galaxy is slightly larger than our own Milky Way with about 300 billion stars, compared with about 250 billion in our galaxy.
Now the interesting segment ... the supernova (designated at SN 2020jfo) ... is a 'sun' that exploded! This event was first observed on May 6, but in reality, happened 53.5 million years ago as the light from it has just arrived to our eyes/telescopes. Within distant galaxies, you cannot see individual stars as they are just so far away. All the stars that you see in the sky are contained in our own Milky Way galaxies. Even with telescopes, you can't see individual stars outside the realm of our galaxy. When a star explodes as a supernova, it gives off so much light that it outshines the galaxy itself and for a brief moment, we can see an individual star in another galaxy, well, what's left of it anyway, for several days. If a star in our galaxy exploded, we would see it as an extremely bright object, so bright that it would be visible even in the daylight for a few days/weeks. It's a rare event but has happened. In 1054 A.D., such an event did happen and the remnants of that is what we view as the crab nebula.
The other interesting aspects of this picture are the two additional galaxies that can be seen ... NGC 4301 at the upper left at a distance of 58 million light-years, and NGC 4292 at the upper right at exactly twice the distance of M61...104 million light-years.
That 'Techy' Stuf
Telescope: 11" Celestron Edge HD at f/10
Mount: Celestron CGX
Mount setting and alignment via Celestron PWI software
Rig to Indoor Computer Connection: USB 2 196 feet Extender via cat 6 cable
System Alignment: Celestron StarSense
Camera: Altair Hypercam 294c Pro TEC
Camera sensor temp: 0°C
Filter: Altair Quadband
33 Sub-Frames at 300sec ea (2hr 45mn total exposure)
Calibration Frames: 24 Darks, 40 Flats
Guiding: Orion Digital StarShoot Mono camera & 60mm Altair Scope
Celestron Auto Focuser
Guiding Software: PHD2 V2.6.8
Capture Software: SharpCap Pro
Stacked in Deep Sky Stacker
Post-processing in PixInsight & Photoshop CC
Light Pollution: Bortle zone 4.5 (Barely can see the Milky Way)
Sky Condition: 10 (0-10 with 10 the clearest possible)
Lunar Interference: None
Temperature: 59°F (15°C)
Date May 11, 2020
Location: My Backyard, Savannah, GA
Return to Pat Prokop's Heavenly Backyard Astronomy Page