SN in M51

75. SN in M51


Position not available. Multiple objects or no NGC/IC designation

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SN 2011dh is a supernova in the Whirlpool Galaxy (M51). On 31 May 2011 an apparent magnitude 13.5 type II supernova (the explosion of a single massive star) was detected in M51 at coordinates 13:30:05.08 +47:10:11.2. It was discovered by Tom Reiland; Thomas Griga; Amédée Riou; and Stephane Lamotte Bailey and confirmed by several sources, including the Palomar Transient Factory. A candidate progenitor has been detected in Hubble Space Telescope images at coordinates 13:30:05.119 +47:10:11.55. The progenitor may have been a highly luminous yellow supergiant with an initial mass of 18-24 solar masses. The supernova appears to have peaked near apparent magnitude 12.1 on 19 June 2011.Emission spectra from W. M. Keck Observatory, obtained by Palomar Transient Factory indicate that this is a type II supernova with a relatively blue continuum with P Cygni profiles in the Balmer series. This is a unique event, because it occurs in a galaxy that is imaged almost constantly. It is expected to be observable for northern hemisphere observers for several months.This is the third supernova to be recorded in the Whirlpool galaxy since 1994 (following SN 1994I and SN 2005cs) which is a lot for a single galaxy. The galactic supernova frequency is estimated to be around one event every 40 years.
 

Image Information

Location Fingal ON
Date Jul 4 2011
Optics Celestron C9.25
Filters None
Mount Celestron CGE
Camera Canon/Hutech 500DH
ISO 800
Subexposures 1
Exposure Length 300
Guider SBIG ST-4/WO 66SD
 

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All images copyright © 2006-2021, Rick Saunders
Main text descriptions sourced from Wikipaedia.
Sky position information is based on IP geolocation and is therefore approximate.