Reporting a New Supernova

Since one goal of the Nearby Campaign is to find supernova as early as possible prior to maximum, it is essential that good candidates be reported and added to the list of follow-up objects as soon as they are found. The cut-off for acceptance of candidates is a signal-to-noise of 5, otherwise there will be too many spurious candidates given the large number of pixels being searched.

There are three basic steps that should be taken once a candidate is found:

  1. Use the Add A Candidate feature of WhatsUp to add the candidate to the follow-up database. The minimal required information is:

  2. It you cannot get Add A Candidate to work, please e-mail the above information, as described in item 3 below. Other than the discovery magnitude, the settings in the Add A Candidate Initial Values form should be left at their default values for now.

  3. Submit a finder chart showing the supernova, the host galaxy, and at least one offset star (the offset star whose coordinates were submitted to WhatsUp). The suggested field size is 3x3 arcminutes. The most desirable graphics format is Postscript, although other formats with commonly available web-compatiable readers can be used as well. Finder charts can be submitted in the following ways:

  4. Send e-mail reiterating the data from item 1, above, and describing what finder chart information has been provided, to,, and Someday we might get WhatsUp to do this! In the meantime this e-mail will help in verifying the data that goes into the follow-up database.

This document does not discuss filing a report of a SN discovery to the IAU Circulars, as ususally this is not done until the candidate is confirmed. Once confirmed, the groups involved in data taking, searching, and confirmation should send a joint report to the IAU Circulars.

Greg Aldering (