Supernova SN 2017dfc and Messier 63: an image (21 Apr. 2017)
On 20 April 2017, the GAIA mission reported the discovery of a faint transient, not far from the nucleus of the stunning spiral galaxy Messier 63. Later, it was confirmed to be a supernova, labeled SN 2017dfc, but much more distant than the apparent host galaxy.
The alert referred to observations dated 9 Apr. 2017, so it was interesting to see if at that time the possible supernova was just rising or what. Of course, it it even was a supernova! The first reports said the transient was still there, with no much different brightness: quite puzzling. On 21 Apr. 2017, a spectrum was reported, suggesting it was a type Ia supernova close to its maximum. The interesting thing was that the spectrum indicated a redshift z=0.06, while the redshift of Messier 63 is z=0.0016 . This indicates the supernova is well beyond (almost 900 millions of light years) that galaxy (placed at about 30 millions of light years). A very intriguing event.
The image above is the average of five, 60-seconds exposures, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. We measured a magnitude of 17.7 (unfiltered).
Support The Virtual Telescope Project!
If everyone reading this right now would donate something, our fundraiser would be done in a few days. Please, donate and receive stunning, LIMITED EDITION panel showing the evolution of comet 46P/Wirtanen over the last weeks and more amazing images, specifically made for supporters like you!
donate now (you can adjust the amount later)
You can also order our 2019 Calendar, featuring our unique images of the stars above the legendary monuments of Rome!