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Thread: Could they see the SN 1054 progenitor before 7/4/1054?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
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    Could they see the SN 1054 progenitor before 7/4/1054?

    Was the Crab Nebula supernova star visible to the naked eye before its outburst?
    SHARKS (crossed out) MONGEESE (sic) WITH FRICKIN' LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Probably. Depends on the brightness of the supernova progenitor. Red supergiant precursors to Type II supernovae seem to weigh in at about 20000 to 200000 times solar luminosity. Distance to the Crab Nebula is about 6500 light years.

    Do the sums, and that gives an apparent magnitude of 5.5 to 3.0. Check my working here. So pretty-dim to not-very-bright.

    Grant Hutchison

  3. #3
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    An interesting data-point is whether that star appeared in Ptolemy's star catalog. I don't think it did, and that goes down to 5th magnitude for the most part.
    Forming opinions as we speak

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