18.01.2017 change 18.01.2017

The first supernova in 2017 discovered by Polish astronomy enthusiasts

Supernova discovered by two Polish astronomy enthusiasts - designated AT 2017 - is the first object of this kind discovered in 2017. The discovery has been reported Working Group on Supernovae acting in the framework of the International Astronomical Union.

When New Year\'s Eve parties were ending in Poland, in the morning on January 1st two Polish amateur astronomers launched their robotic telescope in the private Ratinga Observatory in Italy. The telescope made a series of images; the supernova could be seen in the last image.

The supernova is the first one discovered this year. It received the designation AT 2017A, and, once its type is determined - it may be also referred to as SN 2017A. This is consistent with the rule applied by the International Astronomical Union that the supernovae discovered in a given year are designated with the number of the year and successive letters of the alphabet (or combinations of two letters, if the individual characters in the alphabet have already been used).

The supernova explosion was spotted in the galaxy UGC 10104 in the constellation Corona Borealis. Supernova has a brightness of 17.4 mag.

Discoverers of the supernova are Grzegorz Duszanowicz and Michał Żołnowski. Żołnowski owns the Ratinga Observatory in northern Italy, in which together with Michał Kusiak (astronomy student at Jagiellonian University) he has discovered dozens of asteroids. He also has a private observatory in Chile - in 2015 four-people Polish team managed to discover a comet there.

Duszanowicz every day lives in Akersberga, Sweden. So far he has already discovered 10 supernovae. The team Żołnowski-Duszanowicz has three supernovae discoveries among their achievements.

"We are very pleased with our discovery. It is a significant effort, associated not only with the search that requires painstaking patience, but also with the technical maintenance of the remote observatory. Each observation is preceded by careful planning, in which part of the sky the search will be carried out. Our search is often a race, especially against the Japanese teams that have the advantage that night falls over there a few hours earlier and they can notice a new object in their sky earlier than we do" - said Michał Żołnowski in an interview with PAP.

The discovery is the result of painstaking observation. Photographs of many galaxies have to be taken regularly, and then compared with older images from the archive. If the galaxy has a bright star, which previously was not there - most likely it is a supernova. The vast majority of discoveries of supernovae is done today using automated telescopes that photograph the different areas of the sky.

PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland

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