Location of Photo:
Pommier Observatory, Portland, OR, USA
Date/Time of photo:
2012-05-09 through 2012-05-14.
Telescope/Mount: Celestron Compustar C14 with 0.75x focal reducer (f/8.3). Camera: SBIG STL11000M with Baader Planetarium L,R,G,B filters.
M101, imaged in May, 2012, shows supernova PTF11kly,a Type Ia discovered on 2011-08-24 by the Palomar Transient Factory is still glowing a distinct blue! It can be seen at 5 o'clock about 3/4 the distance from the galaxy's core to its edge. I was unable to image the supernova after discovery because the view from my observatory was blocked by trees. I was delighted to still see it glowing when the Oregon weather cleared in May, when M101 was high overhead. Although a grand design spiral, M101's has a distinctly off center core and far flung spiral arms, likely from tidal interaction with some of its known satellite galaxies. M101 has a diameter of 170,000 light-years and is 21 million light-years away.