ULO captures the eruption of a new supernova Messier 51
10 June 2011
A new supernova was seen to erupt in Messier 51, the 'Whirlpool Galaxy', on 2011 May 31, and was widely announced on June 2. This image, with the supernova indicated, was taken at the University of London Observatory (ULO) on June 3 by Dr Steve Fossey and Bob Winter using a C14 telescope. At magnitude 14, the supernova is unusually bright – 'only' about 4000 times fainter than can be seen with the unaided eye.
Early reports suggest that the supernova, designated SN 2011dh, is a type II (core-collapse) event. A yellow supergiant with a mass of around 20 solar masses has been identified in pre-explosion images as a candidate for the progenitor.