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Supernova Impostors

The UIS Barber Observatory has taken advantage of the clear weather patterns and our new wide-field U42 camera to follow the brightness variations of suspected supernova impostors in distant galaxies. The image below is of an unusual supernova in the galaxy NGC 6796 called SN 2012bv. The color picture was made by assigning false colors to three separate images taken on June 25th in the V (light you see as green), R (light you see as red), and I (infrared light just beyond the range of your vision). The supernova is the slightly bluish “star” clearly visible in the bottom part of the fuzzy galaxy appearing as a vertical smear in the center of the picture. The galaxy NGC 6796 is about 98 million light years away from us, meaning that the light from this supernova has taken over 98 million years to reach us.

More information about the supernova impostor project at UIS