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Supernova Number Six
The Discovery of 1998co

Excerpt from Circular No. 6950

Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION

SUPERNOVA 1998co IN NGC 7131
Wayne Johnson, Anza Observatory, reports his discovery of a supernova (mag 16) on CCD images obtained on June 21 and 22 with the Orange County Observers' 0.56-m telescope. SN 1998co is located 3" east and 5" north of nucleus of NGC 7131 (R.A. = 21h47m.7, Decl. = -13o11', equinox 2000.0).

The story from Wayne:

The SN is in a faint elliptical galaxy in the constellation of Capricornus, but it stands out nicely in my CCD images. According to astronomers at Harvard, it was at maximum light when I initially imaged it. I found it on the evening of the OCA's Star Party on Saturday night (June 21/22) after almost everyone had gone to bed. Since it was Fathers' Day the next day, I went home early in the morning and celebrated the occasion with Arlene after a short sleep. I then had to go back up to the observatory on Sunday night to get a confirmation image. No movement of the object, which was a good sign, at least it wasn't an asteroid, but I had no reference image to compare it against. I sent an email to the Central Bureau of Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) on Monday morning to ask for verification and called Dan Green there by phone to be sure he received my message and to find out whether he needed any additional information.

We had a string of 5 clear nights since last Thursday and I was able to take advantage of most of those. Shuttling back and forth from my home an hour away, I had to work during the week, too. Monday night saw Arlene and I up there again to verify another SN suspect in ngc 5993, which didn't pan out. I was beginning to drag at both work and hobby when I finally got the good news on Tuesday morning (June 23)!

Tired, but happy,

Wayne (aka Mr. Galaxy)


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