Click here for a link to NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for 23 February 2016




The Details
NGC 5128 Centaurus A and Supernova 2016adj
Astro-Physics 12" Mak-Cass f/8
Astro-Physics 1600 Mount with absolute encoders
FLI 16803 Proline CCD
Tru-Balance LRGB Filters - Gen 2
10 & 11 February 2016
Las Campanas Observatory, Chile
L 13 ea x 900 sec 1x1 bin; RGB 7 ea x 600 sec 1x1 bin
ACP, Maxim DL/CCD, CCDStack 2, Photoshop CS5
Field of view: 17' x 17' centered on RA 13h25m28s
DEC-43°00'50" (2000). North angle 179.58°; east 90° CCW from north
About 10 million years ago in a galaxy far away a massive star ended its life in a spectacular explosion classified by astronomers as a Type IIb supernova.  On 08 February 2016, Peter Marples and Greg Bock of the Backyard Observatory Supernova Search team in Queensland, Australia captured the first glimmer of light from this event to reach the Earth, supernova 2016adj in the great southern galaxy NGC 5128 (Centaurus A).  Type II supernovae are characterized by the presence of hydrogen in their spectra and are generated by the core collapse of a massive star ending its life with the property of at least 8 solar masses. 

Alerted to this transient phenomenon by our colleague Mike Long, who happened to be on site at the Las Campanas Observatory in Chile, Howard Hedlund of Astro-Physics Inc. and I collaborated on an observing run to capture this supernova, identified by tic marks in the above image. 

Our image was used as an inset to a Hubble image of Centaurus A that became NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day on 23 February 2016.




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