New Supernova in M51

On the 31st May 2011, a new supernova now designated SN2011DH exploded in the Whirlpool galaxy M51. The supernova has been classified as a Type II which means that the star must have been at least eight times the mass of our Sun and destruction was by way of a core collapse and a rebound. That is to say that the iron core collapses with the outer parts rebounding and blasting into space.

The image below was taken by Gain Lee using Faulkes Telescope North on the 7th June. Two sets of subframes were exposed through the RGB filters. Each frame was 170 seconds in length. There was an additional single frame taken through the H-alpha filter to highlight the red star forming regions in the galaxy.

The supernova is currently shining at magnitude +13.5 and should be visible for imaging with the Faulkes Telescope during the next few weeks.

SN in M51_0.jpg