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Amateur Kiwi astronomer discovers supernova

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Author Topic: Amateur Kiwi astronomer discovers supernova  (Read 87 times)
Shit-Hot Member
Posts: 2335


« on: July 03, 2009, 07:02:15 am »

 Kiwi farmer and part time astronomer is over the moon after it was confirmed he discovered a supernova.

The Oxford dairy farmer discovered the exploding star which is a rare event for an amateur astronomer.

Stu Parker had been scanning the skies searching for an elusive dying star for a long time.

"We searched long and hard, we searched thousands and thousands of galaxies over months and months and years sometimes to find one," says Parker.

And the thousands of hours of staring at the heavens paid off.

"Yeah it's great, it's marvellous it made a big difference and hopefully giving me a bit more credibility around the show which is really good," says Parker.

Parker will gain credibility as it's extremely rare for an amateur astronomer to be the first to find a supernova.

"For someone working from a backyard telescope it's a very interesting event it's important for New Zealand because there are only a few New Zealanders who have found a supernova," says Grant Christie from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Parker can't believe his luck.

"I was very very lucky to get this one in before the people overseas found it they put an observation in just after me so I managed to get mine in first," he says.

Christie says a supernova is an exploding star. Its core collapses, it runs out of fuel and it explodes with a mighty bang making it visible from earth for just a few weeks before it dies out.

The light from the galaxy comes down through the telescope to the camera at the back which captures the images.

Parker then processed these images through his computer programme.

It's a long way from the plastic telescope Parker had as a boy.

"Ever since then the hobbies improved, the equipment's improved, and the obsession's improved," he says.

An obsession that costs a bit but for Parker but he says is one of the best things in his life.

"My three loves, my wife, my cows and my astronomy," he says.

If his first two loves allow it he plans to extend his third love and the backyard observatory to three telescopes.

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Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body.

But rather, to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming...

WOW, What a Ride!"

Please note: IMHO and e&oe apply to all my posts.

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Sir Blodsnogger
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2009, 02:37:20 am »

It is amazing   - another first for New Zealand.

whereas the bossanova was discovered by south Brazil in 1823
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Bloody-Good Member
Posts: 264

« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2009, 12:10:27 pm »

^^ definatly should be getting a lotto ticket for this week!
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