Galaxy NGC 4414

Galaxy NGC 4414

The spiral galaxy to the left of center in this picture is NGC 4414. It is about 62 million lightyears away from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices. On June 8th astronomers in Italy noted a new bright star in the galaxy just to the left of the center in this image. A spectrum obtained by the Keck II telescope in Hawaii two days later confirmed this was a star many times the mass of the Sun that had exploded as a supernova. The spectrum is a little odd since it has no emission lines that are typical of a supernova of this type. UIS Barber Observatory is following this supernova as part of our ongoing NSF project to study supernova impostors.

The images combined to make this picture were taken in three filters: B (light you see as blue), V (light you see as green), and R (light you see as red). The separate images were combined to create this color picture.