Seeing Through a Veil of Dust

Spitzer_sig14-004_1024

spitzer_sig14-004 February 26th, 2014

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The closest supernova of its kind to be observed in the last few decades has sparked a global observing campaign involving legions of instruments on the ground and in space, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Dust in the supernova's host galaxy M82, also called the "Cigar galaxy," partially obscures observations in optical and high-energy forms of light. The infrared light that Spitzer sees in, however, can pass through this dust, allowing astronomers to peer directly into the heart of the aftermath of the stellar explosion.

This image shows Spitzer's view of M82 on three separate dates: May 9, 2005; February 7, 2014; and February 12, 2014. The observations from February 7 reveal the presence of a bright spot -- the supernova -- not present in the prior observations. By February 12, the supernova has started to dim somewhat from its peak brightness in the first week of February. The supernova, dubbed SN 2014J, was first spotted by human observers on January 21, 2014.

SN 2014J is glowing very brightly in the infrared light that Spitzer sees. The telescope was able to observe the supernova before and after it reached its peak brightness. Such early observations with an infrared telescope have only been obtained for a few Type Ia supernovas in the past. Researchers are currently using the data to learn more about how these explosions occur.

In the image, light from Spitzer's infrared channels are colored blue at 3.6 microns and green at 4.5 microns.

Provider: Spitzer Space Telescope

Image Source: https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/image/sig14-004-seeing-through-a-veil-of-dust

Curator: Spitzer Space Telescope, Pasadena, CA, USA

Image Use Policy: http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy

View Options

Image Details

Image Type
Collage
Object Name
Messier 82 M82 NGC 3034 Cigar Galaxy SN 2014J
Subject - Local Universe
Galaxy > Type > Spiral
Galaxy > Type > Irregular
Galaxy > Activity > Starburst
Star > Evolutionary Stage > Supernova

Distance

Universescale2
11,700,000 light years
Spitzer_sig14-004_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 9h 55m 52.2s
DEC = 69° 40’ 46.9”
Orientation
North is up
Field of View
11.0 x 8.5 arcminutes
Constellation
Ursa Major

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 3.6 µm
Green Spitzer (IRAC) Infrared (Near-IR) 4.5 µm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Spitzer_sig14-004_1280
×
ID
sig14-004
Subject Category
C.5.1.1   C.5.1.6   C.5.3.3   C.3.1.8  
Subject Name
Messier 82, M82, NGC 3034, Cigar Galaxy, SN 2014J
Credits
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Release Date
2014-02-26
Lightyears
11,700,000
Redshift
0.000677
Reference Url
https://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/image/sig14-004-seeing-through-a-veil-of-dust
Type
Collage
Image Quality
Good
Distance Notes
Facility
Spitzer, Spitzer
Instrument
IRAC, IRAC
Color Assignment
Blue, Green
Band
Infrared, Infrared
Bandpass
Near-IR, Near-IR
Central Wavelength
3600, 4500
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
Reference Value
148.96758000000, 69.67970400000
Reference Dimension
2200.00, 1700.00
Reference Pixel
1093.97, 829.86
Scale
-0.000083333, 0.000083333
Rotation
0
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Position
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
Spitzer Space Telescope
URL
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
1200 E. California Blvd.
City
Pasadena
State/Province
CA
Postal Code
91125
Country
USA
Rights
http://www.spitzer.caltech.edu/info/18-Image-Use-Policy
Publisher
Spitzer Science Center
Publisher ID
spitzer
Resource ID
sig14-004.tif
Metadata Date
2022-03-18T03:46:14Z
Metadata Version
1.2
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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Universescalefull
11,700,000 light years