The TAROT telescope discovered a bright supernova

The TAROT telescope at La Silla (Chile), led by astronomers of IRAP, has discovered a supernova during the night of 26 to 27 October 2012 in the spiral galaxy NGC 1365 located 70 million light years away. Australian astronomers at Siding Spring observatory have pointed the supernova and have obtained a spectrum with 2m40 telescope. They found that the supernova is of type Ia.

The use of color filters allows to display the colors of galaxies observed with the telescope and a digital camera. The NGC 1365 galaxy has an esthetic spiral shape. The supernova 2012fr is labeled by the two small black marks in this TAROT image.

This is the fourth supernova discovered by the TAROT telescope since the beginning of 2012. The Supernova of the October 27th has been designated 2012fr by the International Astronomical Union. The first observations shows that 2012fr was in an early stage when it was discovered and should increase in brightness until November 8th.

As TAROT is a robotic telescope, it has been able to discover the supernova very quickly after its explosion providing very pertinent informations.

The TAROT telescope is normally intended to observe the optical emission from star explosions (gamma ray-bursts) but it is also used for various other astrophysical studies. It was built in 2006 by a team of astronomers from IRAP. A second copy is installed in France.

IRAP contact

  • Alain Klotz, alain.klotz@irap.omp.eu

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