British astronomer breaks record

A few days ago I carried an announcement by @simostronomy announcing the possible discovery of a supernova by T. Boles, a familiar name from other such notices. Well, the discovery was confirmed and Tom Boles has broken a 36 year old record to become the person with the greatest number of supernovae discoveries to his name in history.

Tom’s observatory consists of three fourteen inch Celestron telescopes (two in a shed with a roll off roof, one in a dome, designed to move with the motion of the telescope). They conduct regular surveys of galaxies during clear night, feeding the information back to computers indoors and comparing images taken to previous images to try and spot any changes. Such surveys are regularly performed by professional telescopes and often churn out lots of data. Galaxy Zoo recently took data from such a survey and challenged its users to get supernovae out of it, achieving twenty-three or so hits.

Professor Fritz Zwicky was the previous record holder with 121 supernovae to Boles’ 125.


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