A confirming spectrum of an amateur supernova

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    Robin Leadbeater
    Last night I recorded a spectrum, using my modified ALPY with a 200 l/mm grism, of a possible supernova in ugc4671, discovered on 20160412 by the amateur Greek Supernova Survey Team at mag 16.5 
    The spectrum confirms it as a type II.  (Spectrum, overlaid on GELATO best fit classification, attached)
    I suspect this may be the first supernova to have been both discovered and classified by amateurs.
    The new Transient Name Server system makes reporting and classification submission very easy, even for amateurs. (Perhaps a bit too easy. I hope I don’t get shouted at for doing something wrong !)
    Andy Wilson

    Congratulations Robin! You continue to do amazing work at very faint magnitudes for spectroscopy.


    David Boyd

    Well done Robin. You are showing the way in spectroscopy – as usual!

    To avoid any misunderstanding in the light of the current offer on the Alpy it is worth emphasising that you were using a non-standard Alpy which you had modified yourself rather than the one which is supplied by Shelyak. It would be interesting for people here if you could explain the difference in performance you achieved by exchanging the grism.



    Robin Leadbeater

    Hi David,

    I modified my ALPY using a 200l/mm grism in place of the standard 600l/mm.  This gives a lower resolution but still sufficient for SN classification for example.  (I estimate this gives perhaps a 1.5 mag increase in sensitivity over the standard ALPY.  I have been down to mag 17.5 supernovae in favourable conditions with this setup on a 280mm aperture C11 so mag 15-16 supernovae should be reachable with an unmodified ALPY)

    The modification is fairly straightforward and reversible but requires a bespoke grism which Paton Hawksley (manufacturers of the Star Analyser and the supplier of the grism used in the ALPY) made for me. There are more details of my modified “ALPY 200” on my website here.




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