BOSS-Backyard Observatory Supernova Search


BOSS discovery now published in The Astrophysical Journal. SN2011ei


The BOSS team (Stu Parker, Peter Marples, Colin Drescher, Pat Pearl, Brendan Downs, and myself) I would like to let you know that The Astrophysical Journal has now published the paper that we contributed to through our work on supernova SN2011ei of July 2011 in NGC6925. Also,of great pride to each of the BOSS members, is a letter of appreciation from the lead investigator, Dan Milisavljevic, of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. I have attached a copy of the letter in case you are interested.

Stu made the discovery at his 'Parkdales' observatory in NZ. Within minutes of Stu's call to me, I commenced taking several images from my "Leyburn Dusty Downs" observatory in Queensland for initial confirmation images and other images for brightness measurements over the next few days, Colin did the initial position and brightness analysis and followed up with brightness measurements, and Peter prepared and sent the alert to the CBAT.

The paper is entitled "Multi-Wavelength Observations of Supernova 2011ei: Time-Dependent Classification of Type IIb and Ib Supernovae and Implications for their Progenitors". This discovery was made only a few days after the explosion and consequently, has been particularly valuable because the early discovery allowed many professional instruments using different wavelengths to analyse the new supernova.

A key science outcome described in the paper is that this supernova changed its characteristics, and therefore, its supernova classification in a matter of days. Previously, it was thought that this was possible only over a matter of months, so the opportunity of early observations coupled with regular longer term measurements actually extended the current understanding and theories of these tremendous events.

As a bunch of amateurs who are simply doing what they love, we are all completely gob-smacked that we could contribute to this field, even if it's a relatively small way.

It's an understatement to say that we are 'over-the-moon' with this result, and of course, the kind letter from Dan.
Clear skies, here's to the next one!

Further info can be seen here at


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