Using the Web

Go to the website for the Katzman Automatic Imaging Telescope at Lick Observatory ( What is this project? Why can a search for supernovae be automated? Pick a recent year. How many supernovae were discovered? Look at some of the images. How bright do the supernovae look compared to their galaxies?
The International Astronomical Union’s “List of Recent Supernovae” ( includes all recently discovered supernovae. Pick a few of the most recent ones. What type of supernova is each one? How bright is it? Why are these so much fainter than the novae you looked at in Chapter 16 Are Type Ia or Type II supernovae more common?
The Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) survey (, which looks at the same patch of sky every 5 days, is another automated experiment. What kinds of supernovae has this study found? Anything new?
Go to the website for the Gaia mission ( How will this mission contribute to the study of variable stars? How will it contribute to the study of novae and supernovae?
Go to the Einstein@Home website ( In this distributed computing project, volunteers use their spare computer processing power to help search for new pulsars. Look over the “News” section on the right. Have any pulsars been found lately? Join the project, create an account, download BOINC, and follow directions to look for pulsars.

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