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New Supernova

Last week, another new bright supernova was reported, this time in M51, the Whirlpool galaxy. Last year another bright supernova occurred in NGC2403 and we observed it using whatever telescopes in the MERLIN array which were operational on any particular day during the usual summer shutdown. This year we have been lucky again, although the telescopes are currently set up to observe at L-band, a frequency of around 1.4 GHz, rather than C-band (~5 GHz) as last year. Why does that matter? Well, supernovae get bright later at lower frequencies. They are bright at 22 GHZ within days of explosion, while they can take weeks to become bright at 1.4 GHz. We're observing it anyway, as and when we are able to, so we will hopefully be able to measure when it does become visible at 1.4 GHz. This will help the theorists further refine their models of stellar explosions.

The first observing run was on Sunday night / Monday morning. I've been looking at the data today but there is no sign of it yet...

Posted by Megan on Wednesday 06th Jul 2005 (17:00 UTC) | Add a comment | Permalink

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