List of supernovae

This is a list of supernovae that are of historical significance. These include supernovae that were observed prior to the availability of photography, and individual events that have been the subject of a scientific paper that contributed to supernova theory.


In most entries, the year when the supernova was seen is part of the designation (1st column).

Constellation Apparent
(light years)
Type Galaxy Comments
SN 185 Centaurus −4 (?) [1] 9,100[2] Ia (?) Milky Way Surviving description sketchy; modern estimates of maximum apparent magnitude vary from +4 to −8. The remnant is probably RCW 86, some 8200 ly distant,[3] making it comparable to SN 1572. Some researchers have suggested it was a comet, not a supernova.[4][5]
SN 386 Sagittarius +1.5 14,700 II Milky Way The candidate remnant is G11.2-0.3.[6][7]
SN 393 Scorpius –0 34,000   Milky Way  
SN 1006 Lupus –7.5[8] 7,200 Ia Milky Way Widely observed on Earth; in apparent magnitude, the brightest stellar event in recorded history.[9]
SN 1054 Taurus –6 6,500 II Milky Way Remnant is the Crab Nebula with its pulsar (neutron star)
SN 1181 Cassiopeia 0 8,500   Milky Way  
SN 1572 Cassiopeia –4.0 8,000 Ia Milky Way Tycho's Nova
SN 1604 Ophiuchus –3 14,000 Ia Milky Way Kepler's Star; most recent readily visible supernova within the Milky Way
Cas A,
ca. 1680
Cassiopeia +5 9,000 IIb Milky Way Apparently never visually conspicuous, due to interstellar dust; but the remnant, Cas A, is the brightest extrasolar radio source in the sky
SNR G1.9+0.3,
ca. 1868
Sagittarius 25,000 Milky Way "Posthumously" discovered in 1985; age determined in 2008
SN 1885A Andromeda +7 2,400,000 Ipec Andromeda Galaxy First observation of an extragalactic supernova
SN 1895B Centaurus +8.0[10] 10,900,000 NGC 5253  
SN 1937C Canes Venatici +8.4[10] 13,000,000 Ia IC 4182  
SN 1940B Coma Berenices +12.8 38,000,000 II-P NGC 4725  
SN 1961V Perseus +12.5 30,000,000 II? NGC 1058 Potential supernova impostor[11]
SN 1972E Centaurus +8.7 [12] 10,900,000 Ia NGC 5253 Followed for more than a year; became the prototypical Type Ia supernova
SN 1983N Hydra +11.8 15,000,000 Ib Messier 83 First observation of a Type Ib supernova
SN 1986J Andromeda +18.4 30,000,000 IIn NGC 891 Bright in the radio frequency range
SN 1987A Dorado +2.9 160,000 IIpec Large Magellanic Cloud Intense radiation reached Earth on February 23, 1987, 7:35:35 UT. Notable for archival photos of progenitor star and detection of supernova neutrinos. Most recent Local Group supernova
SN 1993J Ursa Major +10.8 11,000,000 IIb M81 One of the brightest supernovae in the northern sky since 1954
SN 1994D Virgo +15.2 50,000,000 Ia NGC 4526
SN 1998bw Telescopium ? 140,000,000 Ic ESO 184-G82 Linked to GRB 980425, which was the first time a gamma-ray burst has been linked to a supernova.
SN 2002bj Lupus +14.7 160,000,000 .Ia NGC 1821 AM Canum Venaticorum-type outburst.[13]
SN 2003fg Boötes 4,000,000,000 Ia anonymous galaxy Also known as the "Champagne supernova"
SN 2004dj Camelopardalis 8,000,000 Ia (SAB) NGC 2403 NGC 2403 is an outlying member of the M81 Group
SN 2005ap Coma Berenices 4,700,000,000 II ? Announced in 2007 to be the brightest supernova up to that point.
SN 2005gj Cetus 865,000,000 Ia/II-n ? Notable for having characteristics of both Type Ia and Type IIn.
SN 2005gl Pisces +16.5 200,000,000 II-n NGC 266 Star could be found on old pictures.[14]
SN 2006gy Perseus +15 240,000,000 IIn (*) NGC 1260 Observed by NASA,
*with a peak of over 70 days, possibly a new type.
SN 2007bi Virgo +18.3 Ic? anonymous dwarf galaxy Extremely bright and long-lasting, the first good observational match for the pair-instability supernova model postulated for stars of initial mass greater than 140 solar masses (even better than SN 2006gy). The precursor is estimated at 200 solar masses, similar to the first stars of the early universe.[15]\
SN 2007uy Lynx +16.8 84,000,000 Ibc NGC 2770 Got overshadowed by SN 2008D.
SN 2008D Lynx 88,000,000 Ibc NGC 2770 First supernova to be observed while it exploded.
MENeaC Abell399.3.14.0 Aries +28.7 1,000,000,000
Ia anonymous red globular cluster associated with anonymous red elliptical galaxy in cluster Abell 399 Observed in 2009. Supernova associated with a globular cluster [16][17]
SN 2009ip Piscis Austrinus 66,000,000 IIn NGC 7259 In 2009 classified as supernova. Redisignated as Luminous blue variable (LBV) Supernova impostor.[18] In September 2012 classified as a young type IIn supernova.[19]
SN 2010lt Camelopardalis +17.0 240,000,000 Ia (sub-luminous) UGC 3378 Discovered by 10-year-old girl, the youngest person to discover a supernova.
SN 2011fe Ursa Major +10.0 21,000,000 Ia M101 One of the very few extragalactic supernovae visible in 50mm binoculars.
SN 2014J Ursa Major +10.5 11,500,000 Ia M82 Closest supernova since SN 2004dj in NGC 2403.
ASASSN-15lh SN 2015L Indus +16.9 3,800,000,000 Ic APMUKS(BJ) B215839.70−615403.9 Most luminous hypernova ever observed.
IPTF14hls Ursa Major +17.7 509,000,000 unknown ? (dwarf galaxy) Unusual supernova


  1. ^ Modern estimates vary widely; see SN 185 for more detail.
  2. ^ Ksenofontov, L. T.; Berezhko, E. G.; Völk, H. J. (2005-04-01). "Magnetic field amplification in Tycho and other shell-type supernova remnants". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 433 (1): 229–240. arXiv:astro-ph/0409453. Bibcode:2005A&A...433..229V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20042015. ISSN 0004-6361.
  3. ^ "New evidence links stellar remains to oldest recorded supernova" Chandra X-ray Observatory, released 2006-09-18, revised 2009-02-20, retrieved 2010-02-26.
  4. ^ Chin YN, Huang YL (1994). "Identification of the Guest Star of AD 185 as a comet rather than a supernova". Nature. 371 (6496): 398–399. Bibcode:1994Natur.371..398C. doi:10.1038/371398a0. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05.
  5. ^ Zhao FY, Strom RG, Jiang SY (2006). "The Guest Star of AD185 Must Have Been a Supernova". Chinese J Astron Astrophys. 6 (5): 635–40. Bibcode:2006ChJAA...6..635Z. doi:10.1088/1009-9271/6/5/17.
  6. ^ SEDS. "Supernova 386".
  7. ^ National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO). "The Supernova of 386 AD".
  8. ^ Winkler, P. Frank; Gupta, Gaurav; Long, Knox S. (2003). "The SN 1006 Remnant: Optical Proper Motions, Deep Imaging, Distance, and Brightness at Maximum". The Astrophysical Journal. 585 (1): 324–335. arXiv:astro-ph/0208415. Bibcode:2003ApJ...585..324W. doi:10.1086/345985.
  9. ^ "Astronomers Peg Brightness of History's Brightest Star" (Press release). National Optical Astronomy Observatory. 2003-03-05. Retrieved 2009-01-12.
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ Voisey, Jon (5 November 2010). "What was SN 1961V?". Universe Today. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  12. ^ Ardeberg, A.; de Groot, M. (1973). "The 1972 supernova in NGC 5253. Photometric results from the first observing season". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 28: 295–304. Bibcode:1973A&A....28..295A.
  13. ^ Sanders, Robert. "Rapid supernova could be new class of exploding star". UC Newsroom. University of California, Berkeley. Archived from the original on 2011-06-13. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
  14. ^ David Bishop (2005). "Supernova 2005gl in NGC 266". Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams. Rochester Academy of Science. 250: 1. Bibcode:2005CBET..250....1P. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
  15. ^ Science Daily, "Superbright Supernova Is First of Its Kind", 5 December 2009 (accessed 2009-12-15)
  16. ^ Melissa L. Graham; David J. Sand; Dennis Zaritsky; Chris J. Pritchet (13 May 2015). "Confirmation of Hostless Type Ia Supernovae Using Hubble Space Telescope Imaging". The Astrophysical Journal. 807 (1): 83. arXiv:1505.03407. Bibcode:2015ApJ...807...83G. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/807/1/83.
  17. ^ Robert Sanders (4 June 2015). "Exiled stars explode far from home". UC Berkeley News Center.
  18. ^ "Supernova impostor explodes for real". Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  19. ^ Maza, J.; Hamuy, M.; Antezana, R.; Gonzalez, L.; Lopez, P.; Silva, S.; Folatelli, G.; Iturra, D.; Cartier, R.; Forster, F.; Marchi, S.; Rojas, A.; Pignata, G.; Conuel, B.; Reichart, D.; Ivarsen, K.; Haislip, J.; Crain, A.; Foster, D.; Nysewander, M.; Lacluyze, A. (2009). "Supernova 2009ip in NGC 7259". Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams. 1928: 1. Bibcode:2009CBET.1928....1M. Retrieved November 29, 2017.

Further reading

  • Green, David A. (2015). Orchiston, Wayne; Green, David A.; Strom, Richard (eds.). Historical Supernova Explosions in Our Galaxy and Their Remnants. New Insights From Recent Studies in Historical Astronomy: Following in the Footsteps of F. Richard Stephenson, Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings. 43. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. pp. 91–100. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-07614-0_7. ISBN 978-3-319-07613-3.

See also

External links

List of supernova remnants

This is a list of observed supernova remnants.

NGC 1259

NGC 1259 is a lenticular galaxy located about 243 million light-years away in the constellation Perseus. The galaxy was discovered by astronomer Guillaume Bigourdan on October 21, 1884 and is a member of the Perseus Cluster.

NGC 2357

NGC 2357 is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Gemini. It was discovered by Édouard Stephan on 6 February 1885.

NGC 2655

NGC 2655 is a lenticular galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis. It is at a distance of 60 million light years from Earth. NGC 2655 is a Seyfert galaxy. The galaxy has asymmetric dust lanes in the centre of the galaxy, tidal arms and extended neutral hydrogen gas and may have recently experienced a merger. The complex dynamics of the HI and optical tails suggest the galaxy may have undergonen more mergers in the past. A weak bar has been detected in infrared H band. The diameter of the disk of the galaxy is estimated to be 60 Kpc (195,000 ly).William Herschel discovered NGC 2655 in September 26, 1802 and described it as very bright and considerably large. The galaxy can be glimpsed with a 4-inch telescope under dark skies nearly 10° from the north celestial pole. One supernova has been observed in NGC 2655, SN 2011B, a type Ia with peak magnitude 12.8.NGC 2655 is the brightest member of NGC 2655 group, which also contains the Sc galaxy NGC 2715, NGC 2591, and NGC 2748. One of the gas structures of NGC 2655 is trailing off toward the small galaxy UGC 4714.

NGC 2775

NGC 2775 (also known as Caldwell 48) is an unbarred spiral galaxy with a prominent ring structure in the constellation Cancer. This galaxy has a bulge and multiple spiral arms, on which few HII regions can be detected, implying recent star formation. It was discovered by William Herschel in 1783.

NGC 2775 is the most prominent galaxy in a small galaxy group known as NGC 2775 group, part of the Virgo Supercluster, along with the Local Group. Other members of the NGC 2775 group include NGC 2777 and UGC 4781.SN1993z is the only supernova known to have occurred in NGC 2775 and was a Type Ia on Sept. 23rd that year at a magnitude of 13.9. By the 25th, spectra that was obtained showed that it had peaked four weeks earlier.

NGC 3464

NGC 3464 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation of Hydra, discovered 14 January 1886 by Ormond Stone.

NGC 4090

NGC 4090 is a spiral galaxy located 340 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices. The galaxy was discovered by astronomer Heinrich d'Arrest on May 2, 1864 and is a member of the NGC 4065 Group.NGC 4090 hosts an AGN.On April 5, 2018 a type Ia supernova designated as SN 2018aqh was discovered in NGC 4090.

NGC 4098

NGC 4098 is an interacting pair of spiral galaxies located 330 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices. NGC 4098 was discovered by astronomer William Herschel on April 26, 1785. It was then rediscovered by Hershel on December 27, 1786 was listed as NGC 4099. NGC 4098 is a member of the NGC 4065 Group.

NGC 4490

NGC 4490, also known as the Cocoon Galaxy, is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Canes Venatici. It lies at a distance of 25 million light years from Earth. It interacts with its smaller companion NGC 4485 and as a result is a starburst galaxy. NGC 4490 and NGC 4485 are collectively known in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 269. NGC 4490 is located 3/4° northwest of beta Canum Venaticorum and with apparent visual magnitude 9.8, can be observed with 15x100 binoculars. It is a member of Herschel 400 Catalogue. It belongs in Canes Venatici galaxy cloud II.

It was discovered by William Herschel in 1788. Two supernovae have been observed in NGC 4490, SN 1982F, and type II-P SN 2008ax, with peak magnitude 16.1.

NGC 5177

NGC 5177 is a galaxy. Based on a redshift of 6467 km/s the galaxy is crudely estimated to be about 300 million light-years away.

NGC 5837

NGC 5837 is a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Boötes. It was discovered on 19 June 1887 by Lewis A. Swift.

NGC 5907

NGC 5907 (also known as Knife Edge Galaxy or Splinter Galaxy) is a spiral galaxy located approximately 50 million light years from Earth. It has an anomalously low metallicity and few detectable giant stars, being apparently composed almost entirely of dwarf stars. It is a member of the NGC 5866 Group.

NGC 5907 has long been considered a prototypical example of a warped spiral in relative isolation. In 2006, an international team of astronomers announced the presence of an extended tidal stream surrounding the galaxy that challenges this picture and suggests the gravitational perturbations induced by the stream progenitor may be the cause for the warp.

The galaxy was discovered in 1788 by William Herschel. Supernova 1940A was in this galaxy.

NGC 6373

NGC 6373 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Draco. It is designated as SBc in the galaxy morphological classification scheme and was discovered by the American astronomer Lewis A. Swift on 13 June 1985. There are two recorded supernovaes 2001ad and 2012an in this galaxy.

NGC 6801

NGC 6801 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation of Cygnus. It was discovered by Lewis A. Swift on August 5, 1886.

NGC 732

NGC 732 is a lenticular galaxy located 250 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It was discovered by astronomer Édouard Stephan on December 5, 1883 and is member of Abell 262.

NGC 753

NGC 753 is a spiral galaxy located 220 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. The galaxy was discovered by astronomer by Heinrich d'Arrest on September 16, 1865 and is a member of Abell 262.NGC 753 has roughly 2-3 times more mass than the Milky Way and is classified as a radio galaxy.

NGC 908

NGC 908 is an unbarred spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus. It is at a distance of 60 million light years away from Earth. NGC 908 has vigorous star formation and is a starburst galaxy. The galaxy has three-arm spiral pattern, with two arms with peculiar morphology. The central bulge of the galaxy is bright. Cluster of young stars and star forming knots can be seen in the arms. Starburst activity and the peculiar morphology of the galaxy indicated it has a close encounter with another galaxy, although none is visible now. NGC 908 was discovered in 1786 by William Herschel. Two supernovae have been observed in NGC 908, SN 1994ai (Ic type, mag. 17) and SN 2006ce (Ia type, mag. 12.4). It is the main galaxy in the NGC 908 group, which also includes NGC 899, NGC 907 and IC 223.

Outline of astronomy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy:

Astronomy – studies the universe beyond Earth, including its formation and development, and the evolution, physics, chemistry, meteorology, and motion of celestial objects (such as galaxies, planets, etc.) and phenomena that originate outside the atmosphere of Earth (such as the cosmic background radiation).

Timeline of white dwarfs, neutron stars, and supernovae

Timeline of neutron stars, pulsars, supernovae, and white dwarfs

Note that this list is mainly about the development of knowledge, but also about some supernovae taking place. For a separate list of the latter, see the article List of supernovae. All dates refer to when the supernova was observed on Earth or would have been observed on Earth had powerful enough telescopes existed at the time.

Physics of

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