Supernova 2023ixf Captured!

Date: June 3rd 2023


Ka-Boom! A Type II Supernova was spotted in M101, The Pinwheel Galaxy and I ended up with 2 clear nights to image it! The only issue is that it's the end of May and darkness is becoming very rare around here. Usually I don't image between Mid-May and Mid-August because there just aren't enough dark hours in the night. (if any) BUT I made an exception for this one. The cool thing about it is I just finished capturing a recent picture of M101 last month, so the comparison with/without the Supernova is very 'new'.

If I had to pick one thing that interests me the most about space, Supernovae would be it. I mean, the little white dot doesn't appear to be very impressive at first glance obviously. However, the more you learn about the size of these explosions, the more fascintating they become. This one just happens to be 21 million light years away and wow is it ever bright! It really stands out against the arms of the galaxy itself. Considering all the other stars in this image are in our own Milky Way galaxy, it's very cool that this one white dot is not.

If you are wondering why the galaxy looks a bit different than my previous M101, it's because this one only has 3.5hrs of data whereas the other has over 10 hours. I also wasn't able to capture any H-alpha data due to time constraints. All in all, I'm very happy with how it turned out! This is my second supernova capture, but the first is not very impressive. I'm looking forward to imaging more supernovae in the future. I was reading somewhere that in an explosion this big, enough Gold is created to equal the mass of the Earth. How true this is.. not sure, but it boggles the mind!


All Images    Craig Sherris