|Supernova 2014J in Galaxy M82, near galaxies M81 and NGC3077
The M81 galaxy group, about 12 million light years away in the Big Dipper, is dominated by spiral M81 (in the upper center). Gravitational interactions have lead to
distortions of both M82 (the cigar shaped one on the left) and NGC 3077 (the peculiar smaller galaxy on the right). On January 21, 2014, a type I-a supernova was
discovered, which brightened to magnitude 10.5 by January 31. I captured this image of supernova 2014J, near the peak brightness. Move your cursor over the image to
create an arrow pointing to this star, which nearly matches the light of the rest of the galaxy M82 combined! Click on the image for a higher resolution view.
M81 was originally discovered by Johann Elert Bode, who found it, together with its neighbor M82, on December 31, 1774. A few years later, Messier added them as the 81st
and 82nd objects in his catalog of comet-lookalike fuzzies through a telescope. NGC 3077 was discovered later, in 1801, by William Herschel. The supernova 2014J was
discovered by astronomer Steve Fossey, of University College London. Fossey was training four undergraduate students (Ben Cooke, Guy Pollack, Matthew Wilde, and
Thomas Wright) to use a 14" telescope at University of London Observatory, located in Mill Hill, north London
The image above combined 27 exposures of 8 minutes each, using Maxim DSLR software. A Hutech-modified Canon 6D camera was used through an Astro-Physics
Ricardi-Honders 12" astrograph, mounted on an AP1200 GTO mount. .
Music by Enya,
Memory of Trees