Tag Archive | Observing

Typing of candidates

Using quick and dirty reductions we have begun identifying the candidates. We have found both type Ia and type II supernovae. It’s soon twilight and we have to take some calibration data before sunrise. Tomorrow night we’ll continue observing. We are pretty tired, so we’re looking forward to a good days sleep.


11 targets left

We now have 11 targets left which we can do tonight. Some of the candidates, which are no longer visible tonight, we aim at observing tomorrow. It’s just a couple of hours until twilight, but we should be able to make it. When the night begun the list looked so long, but now it feels like we’re running of targets. We need more candidates! Please help us find them!


Midnight posting

It’s almost midnight here at La Palma. The sky is much clearer now, although occasionally some clouds are in the way. We have taken spectra of a bunch of candidates, but there’s still plenty of objects to visit. Thanks supernova hunters for keeping us busy tonight!


Starting observing

Here at the William Herschel telescope we (Isobel and Jakob) have started to observe the candidates found by the supernova hunters. There were some clouds earlier, but the sky is getting clearer. The first spectrum is taken right now and we got a long list of excting candidates from the Supernova Zoo to investigate.

Supernova Hunt Underway Again!

For those of you who took part in the Galaxy Zoo Supernova Hunt back in August – good news: the site is now back live, with an improved tutorial and interface. We hope that you like the changes that we have made.

A supernova is an exploding star, capable of outshining an entire galaxy. We have a robotic telescope from the Palomar Transient Factory in California sending us candidate supernovae from the galaxies it scans, and, as in August, we have two astronomers from Oxford standing by at the William Herschel Telescope on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands. They will observe the best of the candidates that you identify.

Our last experiment in August was very successful, and so this time we’re looking at a much larger set of data in an attempt to work out just how common each type of supernova really is. The Supernova Hunt site has been live since Friday, and already there are no shortage of candidates for us to investigate further. But of course, we need more! If you didn’t get the chance to take part last time, please do spend a few minutes reading the tutorial, and enjoy hunting for supernovae! Any feedback or comments are very welcome, either here or over on the Galaxy Zoo forum. And, we’ll try to post regular updates from WHT as to how the observing run progresses. Let’s hope for good weather – you can keep an eye on that here using the webcams (during daylight!) and satellite feeds.