Astrophoto: Supernova PTF11kly During and After

It was literally an event of stellar proportions! In August 2011, a new Type Ia supernova was seen in spiral galaxy M101 a.k.a the Pinwheel Galaxy, located 25 million light-years away. Called PTF11kly, the bright supernova was a target for many astrophotographers. But what does it look like now? Here is a side-by-side comparison by Bill Schlosser from Ohio. It shows his image of the supernova on Sept. 26th, 2011 and then more recently, on June 9th, 2012. “The first was taken through my Astro Tech 10″ RC (I have since sold it) and the second through my TEC 140mm APO,” Bill wrote, and it clearly shows the supernova at its height (brightest object in the left picture, in the lower left side of the galaxy) to what it is today — a small blue blob in the right-hand image. Bill is wondering if it is possibly a becoming nebula now?

Great comparison shots! Check out Bill’s Flickr page for more great photos.

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