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Gemini Observatory Captures Image of Galaxy With "Baby Supernova" SN 2008D

May 21, 2008

Figure 1: NGC 2770 as imaged by the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph at Gemini North on Mauna Kea in Hawai‘i. This image in 4.8 arcminutes on a side and is available in a with and without the recent supernovae indicated.

Full-Resolution TIFF | 22.92mb
Full-Resolution JPEG | 307kb
Med-Resolution JPEG | 26kb

Gemini Observatory Image Release For Embargoed Release at 1:00pm EDT on May 21, 2008

In what has been called a supernova factory, the galaxy NGC 2770 has been captured by the Gemini Observatory in a spectacular new image that shows at least three recent supernovae locations including SN 2008D which was announced today to be the first X-ray detection of a supernovae prior to becoming visible across the spectrum.

The high-resolution color composite image also shows a suspected companion galaxy that is thought to be interacting with the host galaxy. It is suspected that these interactions sparked the formation of massive stars and the resulting fury of supernovae activity in this galaxy.

NGC 2770 is a spiral galaxy located at a distance of about 88 million light years away in the direction of Lynx a constellation in the Northern hemisphere.

For more details see the related press release at: and the paper in the May 22nd, 2008 issue of Nature titled: “An extremely luminous X-ray outburst marking the birth of a normal supernova.

Orientation: 75 degrees CCW from North is up, east is left.

Technical Data:

Filter* Color FWHM Exposure Time
g' Blue 0.5 - 0.6 arcsec FWHM 5x240sec
r' Green 0.5 - 0.6 arcsec FWHM 5x180sec
i' Orange 0.5 - 0.6 arcsec FWHM 5x180sec
H-alpha Red 0.5 - 0.6 arcsec FWHM 5x300sec