NGC 3643 and the bright supernova SN 2020hvf: a image – 12 May 2020
We imaged the bright supernova SN 2020hvf and its host galaxy, NGC 3643, as part of our supernova follow-up program. Here we share our image, inviting you to look for it with your telescope.
The image above comes from the average of five, 120-seconds exposures, unfiltered, remotely taken with “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available at Virtual Telescope. The supernova is indicated by an arrow in the upper left inset.
We estimated SN 2020hvf as bright as mag. 12.6 (unfiltered, R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR1 star catalogue). To date, this is the brightest supernova currently in the sky. You can observe it personally, with your very own telescope, provided it is al least 8″ (200mm) large in diameter and you have dark skies. It is not frequent to have such a bright exploding star, easy to see, in a distant galaxy, so do not miss the opportunity!
As you can see from the image, there are MANY galaxies in that spot of sky, mainly fuzzy patches of light, with the exception of the large NGC 3640 on the bottom right.
This transient was discovered on 21 Apr. 2020 by the ATLAS group and it is a type Ia supernova. The host galaxy NGC 3643 is located at about 80 millions of light years from us.
Further observations will follow, weather permitting.
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