Supernova 2017eaw in NGC 6946,
22 May 2017
On 14 May 2017, Patrick Wiggins discovered supernova 2017eaw in galaxy NGC 6946. Its magnitude at discovery was 12.8. The supernova was the tenth to be discovered in the galaxy since the beginning of the 20th Century.
My first attempt to image the supernova was unsuccessful due to problems in achieving focus. Undeterred, I tried again! The LHS panel in the LHS image below shows the supernova against a rather indistinct background galaxy. The image is a 3 minute exposure with a Celestron C8. The RHS panel in the image was produced by a 51 minute exposure, which brings out the detail in the galaxy.
However, a light-bucket telescope is not necessary to image the supernova. A week after the preceding image, on 22 May, I was among the dark skies of La Palma (in the Canaries). There I used a driven Canon camera with a 100 mm focal length lens set at f/4: yes, an aperture of only 25 mm! The RHS image below shows the results. It contains three panels demonstrating that, although the image-scale is limited, the supernova is clearly visible even with an exposure of only 60 s, and that, as expected, a longer exposure produces a clearer image.
Images with Celestron C8 (200 mm) SCT.
Images from La Palma with Canon camera.