Bright supernova SN 2014J in Messier 82: animation and spectroscopy

Supernova SN 2014J in Messier 82: animation

Supernova SN 2014J in Messier 82: animation

As reported yesterday, a new bright supernova was discovered in Messier 82, a famous irregular galaxy in Ursa Major. The exploding star was spotted during its rising stage and was found in several images since Jan 15, while “officially” discovered on 21 Jan. 2014.

Meanwhile, it received its official designation: SN 2014J and it is a type Ia supernova: that is an exploding white dwarf in a close binary system. With SN 1993J, in Messier 81 (a spiral galaxy making a remarkable pair with M 82), this is the closest supernova after the historic supernova 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud: it is at about 12 millions of light years from us.

The Virtual Telescope Project promptly provided optical and spectroscopic follow-up of the supernova candidate and our observations were included by the CBAT on CBET 3792.

Above is a nice animation, showing M 82 before and after the supernova explosion, with SN 2014J beautifully blinking: both images were collected with the the PlaneWave 17″ robotic unit.

Below is a very interesting spectrum, collected on 22 Jan. 2014 with the Celestron C14 robotic unit, equipped with a 100 lines/mm diffraction grating. The graph, plotted with RSpec, shows a prominent Si II absorption feature, sitting at about 6010 Angstroms. It shows this is a type Ia supernova.

The rest wavelength of such a feature is 6355 Angstrom, so there is a blue-shift of 345 Angstrom. M 82 is also receding at about 200 km/s. From here, an expanding rate of 16.000-18.000 km/s for the supernova shell can be inferred.


Supernova SN 2014J in Messier 82: spectrum

Supernova SN 2014J in Messier 82: spectrum

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8 Responses

  1. Jeremy Lusk says:

    I’m interested by that spectrum – was the light filtered first? I’m used to looking at Type Ia supernova spectra near maximum light, where there is much more flux in the blue.

    • Gianluca Masi says:

      This is a raw spectrum, not corrected for instrumental response. I was just interested in seeing the supernova type. Thanks for your interest!

  2. Frankie Lucena says:

    Just wondering if maybe you can do an animation using images from the 15th,22nd and 27th of January to show how its brightness has increased. Thanx.

  3. Thanks Gianluca for your posting !!
    At the above link, we measured the 2014J SiII @ 6085Ang. This gives us -12,700 – 12,900 km/s expansion rate.
    I have not yet learned normalizing or instrument response with Tom’s program. This is very exciting.
    Again, thanks for confirming I’m moving in the right direction. -Dean Drumheller

  4. Dear GianLuca:

    Wich are the unites do you use un the coordinates in the grafic?

    Thanks, we appreciated very much your work.

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