by Tom Swords
For the October 3rd AAAP members observatory night, one of the target suggestions on my list was for a recently discovered SuperNova I had read about on Cloudy Nights.
The previous night I had attempted to capture an image of SN 2020ssf from my backyard with a 5.5” APO refractor and ASI385 camera with no success. Perhaps the C14 and camera could?
It was the end of the evening, we were winding down observing and I remembered that we had not attempted this target yet. I asked Dave Skitt if he wanted to try for it and he agreed to.
So off to NGC7722 in Pegasus we went. NGC7722 is a spiral galaxy at mag 13.4 and 2.1 X 1.6 Arc minutes in size. Small and dim even for the C14 at F6.3.
I wasn’t expecting we would see much. The slew stopped and we saw nothing but a few brighter field stars in the preview window. Dave began the stacking process and increasing exposure. And there it was! Well at least we hoped it was what we though it was.
A few days later I saw an image of the Super Nova from these folks at the Virtual Telescope Project 2.0, they provide the information about the equipment and exposure used to capture the image.
Dave later gave me a copy of the images that were captured with the C14. I thought to confirm that we had indeed captured an image of the Super Nova by comparing our image to the one provided by the virtual telescope team. I examined the two images, did some cropping to get the imaged area to be similar in FOV with identical field stars and the C14 definitely got it!
I actually prefer our image in color because you can see that the nova is a brighter white than the surrounding galaxy.
This is a fun and rewarding part of being active with EAA. Engaging a reported new target, attempting to get an image and we did!