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Image of the Month


SUPERNOVA 2023 ixf in Galaxy M-101: Located in Ursa Major, M-101 is a beautiful face-on Type Sc spiral galaxy. This new supernova was discovered on May 19th, when it was at 14th magnitude. This image was taken on the evening of May 26th, by which time the supernova has brightened to about 11th magnitude, and is now brighter than the nucleus of the galaxy! M-101 lies at a distance of 21 million light years from Earth, which means that this titanic explosion occurred 21 million years ago, and the light is just now reaching Earth. To gain a true appreciation of the brightness of this explosion, realize that every other star in this image is located within OUR OWN MILKY WAY GALAXY, and yet the supernova, 21 million times more distant, is brighter than many of the foreground stars that we are "looking through"!
NOTE: This image was taken through the Celestron C-11 using the Starizona Reducer f/6.3 and the ZWO 2600MC Pro camera, cooled to -15 degrees and binned 1 X 1. Guided, captured & combined using Maxim DL Pro. Post-processed using PhotoShopCS2, Gradient XTerminator, StarShrink, Carboni's Astro-Tools, and NoiseWare
ADDITIONAL NOTE: The smaller image, superimposed, was taken in 2018 and shows the galaxy BEFORE THE SUPERNOVA.


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