Celestial hemisphere:  Northern  ·  Constellation: Ursa Major (UMa)  ·  Contains:  M 101  ·  NGC 5447  ·  NGC 5449  ·  NGC 5450  ·  NGC 5451  ·  NGC 5453  ·  NGC 5455  ·  NGC 5457  ·  NGC 5461  ·  NGC 5462  ·  Pinwheel galaxy
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Pinwheel Galaxy 2023ixf Supernova Time Lapse (169 images 10min each), 


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Pinwheel Galaxy 2023ixf Supernova Time Lapse (169 images 10min each)

Getting plate-solving status, please wait...
Pinwheel Galaxy 2023ixf Supernova Time Lapse (169 images 10min each), 


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Pinwheel Galaxy 2023ixf Supernova Time Lapse (169 images 10min each)

Acquisition details

May 16, 2023 ·  May 17, 2023 ·  May 18, 2023 ·  May 19, 2023 ·  May 20, 2023 ·  May 21, 2023
Chroma Blue 50 mm: 45×600(7h 30′)
Chroma Green 50 mm: 45×600(7h 30′)
Chroma Lum 50 mm: 35×600(5h 50′)
Chroma Red 50 mm: 44×600(7h 20′)
28h 10′
Avg. Moon age:
19.00 days
Avg. Moon phase:

RA center: 14h03m06s.829

DEC center: +54°2113.68

Pixel scale: 0.712 arcsec/pixel

Orientation: 89.768 degrees

Field radius: 0.227 degrees

WCS transformation: thin plate spline

More info:Open 

Resolution: 1920x1263

File size: 112.0 MB

Data source: Traveller


Episode 12, what are the odds? I was imaging the Pinwheel Galaxy for 6 nights (Tues May 16 - Sunday May 21) 6 nights at San Diego County Agua Caliente Hot Springs campground and I captured 2023ixf Supernova while it was happening in real time (although it did take the light 21 million years to get here).  Agua Caliente Hot Springs is a Bortle 2-3, full hookup campsite in the desert within the Julian limits.  It's an amazing place with dark skies and hot springs bathing to revitalize you after a night of imaging and star gazing.  Equally impressive are the Bighorn Sheep that surround the area, no doubt, also loving the abundance of the hot springs water.   This male Bighorn was drinking from the springs when I came around the corner, you can see the water dripping from his mouth when he looked up.   

Remember we cannot see individual stars within a galaxy (too far away).  The individual stars you are seeing within the Pinwheel Galaxy are actually within our Milky way and are "in the way" of our view of the Pinwheel Galaxy.  The Pinwheel Galaxy is 21 million light year away.  On Thursday 5/18 9:58 pm one of the stars (21 million lightyears away) in the Pinwheel Galaxy went Supernova.  It exploded with so much energy that we can view that individual explosion on earth.  Since I was imaging continuously with 10 minute exposures, I created a time lapse starting Tuesday and completing on Sunday.  On Thursday you can see the pinpoint of the explosion and the growth of the explosion as the night and days progress to Sunday.  Absolutely stunning watching this explosion 23 million lightyears away, with the growth so rapidly in a Universe where millennium to us are like seconds to the universe. I calibrated and registered 169 images (10 minute exposures each) into a time lapse which starts on Tuesday and ends on Sunday. The time lapse lasts 15 seconds and it will continue to repeat, so please continue to watch it until you see a small dot appear at first then grow.  Look for the catalog number (on the overlay) for NGC5461 (Hydrogen region), the Supernova will appear very close to NGC5461 which is at the top of the image, left of center.

For completeness the Supernova appears in my data on Thursday 5/18 at 8:58 pm Pacific Daylight Time (PDT) (5/19 3:58 am UTC).  Which is actually the first image I took on Thursday, 8:58 pm PDT is when it is dark enough to start imaging.  The last image I took on Wednesday 5/17 was 4:23 am (PDT) (5/17 11:23 am UTC), right before dawn and the Supernova had not occurred yet.  So sometime between Wednesday 5/17 at 4:23 am PDT (5/17 11:23 am UTC) and Thursday 5/18 8:58 pm PDT (5/19 3:58 am UTC) is when the star went supernova.

What are the odds?  To give you an idea, current thinking is 2 to 3 Supernovas occur in a galaxy every 100 years.  Supernova happens to a star at the end of its life and is part of the recycling of elements that occurs as stars die and are born.  Of course, with my rig, it needs to happen in galaxies closer to earth, i.e. within 30 million lightyears for it to be observable.  That limits the number of galaxies SIGNIFICANTLY and I have to be imaging that galaxy.  These galaxies are visible from earth during the Galaxy Season which is in the Spring.  On top of that, I collect photons (image) around the new moon, week before, or week after.  As you can surmise, it is extremely rare for this to happen to me and I am sure it will never happen to me again. 

Also please realize these are "raw" images, they have only been calibrated and registered. Of course, I can't stack them to create a color image for this purpose, otherwise you could not see the Supernova grow in the time lapse.  The streaks you see in some of the frames in the time lapse is the sun reflecting off satellites that are traveling around the earth.

I captured this astronomical data using wide band (visible light) Lum, Red, Green, and Blue over 6 nights, 5/16/2023, 5/17/2023, 5/18/2023, 5/19/2023, 5/20/2023 and 5/21/2023 from Agua Caliente Springs Campground (Bortle 2-3 light pollution rating).
Chroma Blue 50 mm: 45×600″(7h 30′)
Chroma Green 50 mm: 45×600″(7h 30′)
Chroma Lum 50 mm: 35×600″(5h 50′)
Chroma Red 50 mm: 44×600″(7h 20′)
Total Imaging Time = 28h 10min

Click on the image, Top right click on full resolution to see it in more detail.


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