Finding Supernovae

Below you will see the SDSS image with the supernova marked. Did you find it?


Click on the image for a larger view

As you can see, finding supernovae by eye is a challenge. The SDSS uses a computer program to help with the search. The computer points out likely supernovae, and then astronomers make follow up observations to confirm the discovery.

Exercise 1. Now, find the other two supernovae in the SDSS’s Early Data Release. The table below has links to images of the SDSS fields that contain the supernovae. Click the “small” link for a small image, and the large link for a large (2048 x 1489) image. Both types of image will open in the same new window.

After getting the SDSS image, use the given RA and Dec in the POSS Image Retrieval tool to find POSS images of the same field. Compare the fields to find the supernovae. (Note: the images are not oriented the same direction!) The second supernova is rather hard to find.

Supernova # RA Dec Images
1 353.18 -0.98 Small Large
2 18.12 0.13 Small Large