From ESO: “Spiral Beauty Graced by Fading Supernova”

20 March 2013

About 35 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of Eridanus (The River), lies the spiral galaxy NGC 1637. Back in 1999 the serene appearance of this galaxy was shattered by the appearance of a very bright Type II supernova [SN1999em]. Astronomers studying the aftermath of this explosion with ESO’s Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile have provided us with a stunning view of this relatively nearby galaxy.

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In 1999 the Lick Observatory in California reported the discovery of a new supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 1637. It was spotted using a telescope that had been specially built to search for these rare, but important cosmic objects. Follow-up observations were requested so that the discovery could be confirmed and studied further. This supernova was widely observed and was given the name SN 1999em. After its spectacular explosion in 1999, the supernova’s brightness has been tracked carefully by scientists, showing its relatively gentle fading through the years.”

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The position of the supernova is marked.

“SN 1999em is a core-collapse supernova classified more precisely as a Type IIp. The “p” stands for plateau, meaning supernovae of this type remain bright (on a plateau) for a relatively long period of time after maximum brightness.”

See the full article here.

Richard Hook
ESO, La Silla, Paranal, E-ELT & Survey Telescopes Press Officer
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6655
Cell: +49 151 1537 3591
Email: rhook@eso.org

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THE BASIC TOOLS OF E.S.O.
i1
Paranal Platform The VLT
ESO NTT

NTT – New Technology Telescope


La Silla

alma
ALMA Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

i2
The European Extremely Large Telescope
VISTAVISTA (the Visible and Infrared Survey Telescope for Astronomy)


Atacama Pathfinder Experiment telescope (APEX)

ESO, European Southern Observatory, builds and operates a suite of the world’s most advanced ground-based astronomical telescopes.


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