This composite image is made from telescopes at two observatories. The background image is by Johannes Schedler from his equipment installed next to his house in southeast Austria. His gallery of images is beautiful. This background image shows two neighboring galaxies, m81 and m82, in Ursa Major. They are 12 million light years away and 150,000 lt yr apart. Schedler combined five 30 minute images in different wavelengths each recorded with his 16″ telescope.
The two foreground images were requested by me from the Rigel telescope at the Iowa Robotic Observatory in Arizona. They are each 60 sec exposures with no specific wavelength filters. These two images are scaled to match that of the larger background image. This composite shows the increase is detail that can be obtained with long duration exposures, careful selection of wavelengths, and high quality optics as was done by J. Schedler. Click to embig.
The Rigel telescope at IRO is used primarily by introductory astronomy students and researchers at the University of Iowa. The curriculum and telescope are under the direction of Professor Robert Mutel at Iowa. In the middle and late 1990s, Dr. Mutel set up an astronomy work station in my physics classroom in West High School in Iowa City. This allowed students to conduct astronomy projects, such as Supernova searches, using an earlier university telescope at that time. The high school students could follow the same course materials as the college students. Since then, I have enjoyed a professional relationship with Dr. Mutel in other educational areas of astronomy. As such, he grants me a user account on the Rigel telescope in AZ. I am very fortunate.
Supernova 2014 j
There was excitement in the astronomy community January 21, 2014, because of the discovery of Supernova 2014j. It was located in galaxy m82, the galaxy shown in the images above. The Hubble Space Telescope imaged m82 on January 31, just days after discovery as seen in this beautiful and detailed image. The images below are not positioned the same because of the different orientations of the telescopes used to obtain them.
The top image in this post by Schedler does not contain evidence of the Supernova because it was taken in 2005. However, my less detailed image of 60 sec from the IRO was taken in early February of 2014. It should contain the Supernova. A zoomed-in close inspection reveals the Supernova clearly. Here it is highlighted by the yellow cross-hairs. It is not as good as Hubble’s. But, I am very pleased with it.