Supernova candidate AT 2020nlb in Messier 85: an image – 25 June 2020

A supernova candidate has just been reported in Messier 85, labelled AT 2020nlb. We promptly confirmed it.

AT 2020nlb in Messier 85: an image - 25 June 2020

AT 2020nlb in Messier 85: an image – 25 June 2020

Updates (26 June): the transient is now a confirmed type Ia supernova!

The image above comes from a single 120-seconds exposure, unfiltered, remotely taken with the “Elena” (PlaneWave 17″+Paramount ME+SBIG STL-6303E) robotic unit available as part of the Virtual Telescope Project. The supernova candidate is indicated by an arrow. The sky was still very bright because of twilight.

As for the transient, we estimated AT 2020nlb as bright as mag. 16.8 (unfiltered, R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR1 star catalogue), likely on the rise. This transient was discovered on 25 June 2020 by the ATLAs survey 

Further observations ill follow, weather permitting.

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