Supernova in M51
Supernova 2005cs was discovered on June 28th by amateur supernova hunter Wolfgang Kloehr of Schweinfurt, Germany, in a CCD image that he took with an 8-inch reflector. A spectrum obtained on June 30th by Robert Hutchins with the Whipple Observatory 1.5-meter telescope in Arizona showed it to be a Type II supernova: the hydrogen-rich explosion of a giant star whose massive core collapsed to become a neutron star or black hole. Prediscovery images show the supernova at 16th magnitude just a few days before it was spotted. It remained at about magnitude 14.1 as of July 8th. [Update August 24th: The supernova has still hardly changed; it's at about magnitude 14.3.] It's located 78 arcseconds south of the galaxy's nucleus. Take a printout of the photo above with you to the telescope.