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Supernova and Exoplanets

2 Sep 2011, 19:52 UTC
Supernova and Exoplanets
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If you were planning to take a peek at the M101 supernova tonight, then check out the chart I made to help you spot it speedily. You may need binoculars to spot other objects of interest such as a couple of exoplanetary systems in the same patch of sky, namely HAT-P-3 and HD 118203. Their magnitudes are approximately 11 and 8 respectively, so it would be quite a challenge to spot them.

At the handle of the Big Dipper, Alkaid, Mizar and M101 makes a semi-equilateral triangle, 7 degrees on each side. This makes it so much easier to spot them all by star-hopping.

Do not miss this supernova of our time, named SN 2011fe, a Type Ia supernova at the Pinwheel Galaxy (Messier 101). In the next few days, it might reach at least magnitude 6 at it's peak, which is quite visible to the trained eye on excellent conditions of the night sky.

Other Links:
The Big Dipper and Exoplanets

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