Author Topic: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)  (Read 4876 times)

JeanTate

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Every day, nay, many times every day, somewhere in the visible universe a star goes BOOM!

If we humans are lucky, an automated search like the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF), ably assisted by the eyes and brains of zooites, will catch such a falling star (and put it in your pocket) supernova, and analyze its dying scream light curve and spectrum.

On July 11th, 2010 the PTF and zooites saw this:



I call this the "Oops" supernova. First, its formal name is PTF10ops (OK, PTF10ops, and the symbol for zero is not the same as that for a capital O  ::)  you'll give me that they do look the same though, won't you?); but mainly because it seems to be a supernova in the middle of nowhere!  8)

Supernovae, as all zooites surely know, can be classified into several different types, according to the shape of their light curve (i.e. intensity vs time, as measured in some clearly defined part of the electromagnetic spectrum, usually in the visual) and features of their spectra (e.g. the presence of hydrogen lines). One such type is the Ia (SNe Ia), and these are extremely useful, because they are particularly bright 'standard candles'; if you see one in some distant galaxy, you can, from analyzing its light curve and spectrum, get a pretty good estimate of the distance to that galaxy (you know it's the same galaxy as the SNe because the redshifts will be very similar; of course, you may not always be so lucky as to get a good enough spectrum or light curve ...).

About a decade ago, an unusual SNe Ia was discovered; since then several more like it have been found. Today these are called the 91bg-like family ... no prize for guessing that the first one discovered is named 1991bg! Since then at least one other type of peculiar SNe Ia has been found.

All this is both fascinating and somewhat disturbing, because we've never seen the object(s) that later went boom and looked, from a vast distance, like SNe Ia; i.e. no Ia progenitor has ever been seen. Theoretical models strongly suggest these progenitors are white dwarf stars which have had too much mass dumped on them, from their companion binary star, or that they are violent merger/collision of a pair of white dwarf stars.

That's what makes the Oops supernova so interesting; not only is it quite unlike (almost) any other Ia ever seen, but it seems to an orphan, a star without a galaxy to call home!  :o

As luck would have it, the Hubble took a peek at it using STIS (the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph), while it was still young; its unusual features made it a very hot property, so it got a lot of attention from astronomers round the world, and a great many observations were made.

And it does seem like it might be a rare sub-type of Ia, one that occurs far from its host galaxy, in an environment low in metals, and among stars that may be as old as 13 billion years. However, at this stage, there are far more questions than answers, and what the progenitor of these rare SNe Ias is is really a mystery. Here is that environment (source for the second image? see below):




I'm saving the best for last; here is robert gagliano's announcement of the zooite discovery ("Discoverers: chrostek, ElisabethB, galaxirose, rphubbard, Alexandar Micic, volatile36, DIaspro, marek kaluzny, ciberjohn, graham d, John P Langridge"), but here's the best bit:
Quote
PTF10ops was discovered by the PTF using the Galaxy Zoo Supernovae citizen science project1 (Smith et al. 2011) on 2010 July 11.4 (UT dates are used throughout) at RA: 21:47:33.57, dec.: +05:51:30.3 (J2000) using the PTF search telescope, the Samuel Oschin 48-in telescope (P48) located at the Palomar Observatory.

[...]

1 PTF10ops discoverers: Aleksandar, Henryk Krawczyk, ciberjohn, Giovanni Iezzi, Elisabeth Baeten, Sarah Zahorchak, Graham Dungworth, John P Langridge, Marek, Robert Hubbard, Volatile
And:
Quote
7 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

[...]

This publication has been made possible by the participation of more than 10,000 volunteers in the Galaxy Zoo Supernovae project, http://supernova.galaxyzoo.org/authors.

These quotes are from "PTF10ops - a subluminous, normal-width lightcurve Type Ia supernova in the middle of nowhere", Maguire et al. (2011), as is the image above [1]

Zooites, take a bow.



[1] Figure 1:
Quote
An image of the field of PTF10ops (located at the centre of the crosshairs) taken with the WHT+ACAM with 0.25 arcsec per pixel. The largest galaxy located in the upper left quadrant has a projected separation from PTF10ops of 115.2′′ (1.92′), which at zcmb = 0.062 corresponds to 148.3 kpc.

(Alice has connection challenges, and I'm standing in for her today)

Edit: changed the 'clapping hands' smilie/emoticon
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 07:31:03 am by JeanTate »

thaumielx72

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2011, 10:32:50 am »
Wow!  Super Cool!

Hanny

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2011, 11:15:24 am »
Nice work. :)

And Happy Birthday to Els! :-*

zookeeperKevin

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2011, 01:59:12 pm »
 :)

graham d

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2011, 07:15:31 pm »
 :)It did have a "middle of nowhere" Oops about it. Thanks for the plug Jean. Had it not been for Robert I would not have noticed the mention.

Rona

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2011, 08:09:21 pm »
After the applause, here's the bow:


Well done, everyone!

elizabeth

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2011, 05:33:02 am »
 :o Did I miss Els Birthday? Well Happy Birthday!  :-*

ElisabethB

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2011, 02:24:55 pm »
Great OotD !
And a very nice birthday present !  ;) ;D

graham d

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2011, 03:20:42 pm »
While it is still topical Robert has  included the M101 (Pinwheel Galaxy) supernova discovery over in the Supernova thread. It is featured in today's APOD

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110826.html



PTF11kly is marked towards the lower right. It was discovered only 2 days ago, hence it is topical. Atel for more details
http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=3581

There are a dozen further studies listed in the related posts. Jean mentions the fact that we don't have details of the progenitor systems that gave rise to the supernova, hence the search for archived information. M101 is one of our closest galaxies ca. 21 million light years distant, only 10 fold the distance that separates us from the Andromeda galaxy. One would need a database for billions! of stars. Inorder to bring home this minute probability I checked out Atel 3582 for archived searches, 3585 to find-


http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1108/ptf11kly_howell_1524.jpg

If you peruse the 3rd image and the triangle of stars surrounding the search area and then go to an SDSS image. I tried Skymap and then its beta version. However, the best impression of the location is not from Apod but from Google Sky. Go to Google Earth and select SKY. In the location search type the coordinates 14:03:05.81, 54:16:25.4 including that comma . Then zoom in through that majestic display of stars with the central mouse wheel until almost at the zoom limit where you will see that triangle of surrounding stars. There's an intriguing doublet? of reddened stars that may be the red giants alluded to . Perhaps not but the exercise really brings home the improbability of having a database that includes All of the panorama of stars in a galaxy you zoom through.
The supernova will brighten over the forthcoming 3 weeks increasing its magnitude by about 6 orders. Forget the backyard telescope. Although the Pinwheel is close it still needs a big one to observe it and PTF11 kly will hardly outshine its galaxy.
I need help to resize the image :o
Many thanks Alice, just the job.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2011, 05:09:15 pm by graham d »

Alice

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2011, 03:38:40 pm »
Well done supernova zooites ;D ;D ;D ;D

I need help to resize the image :o

Hi Graham ;D

To resize the image, add a height= or width= into the "img" bar. You know how when you click the image button, you get [img][/img].

To do this, try, say, [img width=600][/img].

(SDSS images are 512 on this forum so 500 or 600 is a good start. It rescales automatically so you don't need to worry about height and width, just about one of them.)

so, [img width=600]http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1108/ptf11kly_howell_1524.jpg[/img]

gives you



;D

echo-lily-mai

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2011, 07:04:22 pm »
Awesome!  ;D ;D 8)

Art does not reproduce the visible....  Paul Klee

elizabeth

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2011, 07:26:46 pm »
 ;D ;D ;D

JeanTate

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2011, 10:04:05 am »
A belated Happy Birthday Els!  :D

Love that bow Rona, thanks!

I just love it, LOVE it, when the work of denizens of the Zooinverse results in discoveries like this.  8) 8) (I'm not sure if that will come out; it's (cool) to the power of (cool).  :P )

And in other news, the PTF (Palomar Transient Factory) has a link to us, right on their main page (under Recent News)!  :)  8)

ElisabethB

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2011, 06:32:15 pm »
Thanks Jean !  ;D

Ruby7

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Re: Thursday 25th August, 2011: The "Oops" Supernova (Zooites, Take a Bow)
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2011, 05:07:19 pm »
This is quite fascinating! I always love it when I discover a new super nova! Last night I went outside with my telescope to see if I could locate this with my own eyes. It took me some time to find it, and it wasn't until I finally put my contact lenses on before I could actually see it, but I eventually found it. Thank you very much for this thread, I find this stuff to be pretty exciting!
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 11:15:58 pm by Ruby7 »