Supernova SN 2020nlb in Messier 85 still on the rise! Image and animation – 05 July 2020

Supernova SN 2020nlb in the galaxy Messier 85 is tirelessly rising: for the 10th night in a row, its brightness increased significantly. Now it is within the capabilities of a small telescope. We share our latest image and an animation.

Supernova SN 2020nlb in Messier 85: an image - 05 July 2020.

Supernova SN 2020nlb in Messier 85: an image – 05 July 2020.

The image above comes from the average of five, 120-seconds exposures, 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, in the upper left inset. The sky was bright because of twilight.

As anticipated, we have found this transient brighter, for the 10th night in a row.  Since its discovery, it steadily increased in brightness, as expected from an object caught so early in its explosion. Here we show our preliminary brightness estimates for SN 2020nlb:

  • June 25.8271, mag. 16.8;
  • June 26.8442, mag. 15.6;
  • June 27.8392, mag. 15.0;
  • June 28.8707, mag. 14.4;
  • June 29.8399, mag. 13.9;
  • June 30.8498, mag. 13.6;
  • July 01.8639, mag. 13.3;
  • July 02.8659, mag. 13.0;
  • July 03.8691, mag. 12.8;
  • July 04.8435, mag. 12.6;
  • July 05.8515, mag. 12.4.
SN 2020nlb: lightcurve

SN 2020nlb: lightcurve

Those are unfiltered magnitudes (R-mags for the reference stars from the Gaia DR1 star catalogue). The transient is clearly rising. This being a type Ia supernova, considering the distance of the host galaxy (Messier 85), it could reach magnitude 12.0/12.5 or so, assuming it behaves normally and there is no absorption. 

Using our 25 June and 5 July images, we created this animation.

Supernova SN 2020nlb: 25 June vs 05 July 2020.

Supernova SN 2020nlb: 25 June vs 05 July 2020.

Of course, we plan extensive follow-up of this object.

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