Press Release

Puckett Observatory Supernova Search Discovers Its 50th Supernova

By SpaceRef Editor
June 30, 2002
Filed under , ,

On April 3, the International Astronomical Union announced the discovery of
Supernova 2002bz by T. Puckett and S. Gauthier. This discovery sets a new
record (46 months) for the discovery of 50 supernova by a team of
amateurs. To date the team has discovered 54 supernovas.

To date Puckett has taken more than 500,000 images in the
search. Observing from dusk til dawn on every clear night, Puckett images
approximately 900 galaxies per night using his home-built 60cm reflector,
Celestron C-14" on a Software Bisque Paramount GT1100S, and cameras from
Apogee Instruments. He then scans some of the images, and sends the balance
to other volunteers via the Internet. Each image is manually compared
("blinked") to archive images. Puckett spends approximately 40-50 hours
each week running the search in addition to his day job. All the team
members have contributed thousands of hours each.

Once discovered, these supernovae (exploding stars) are further studied by
professional astronomers around the world to better understand the life
cycle of stars and the acceleration of the universe.

Puckett is adding two new telescopes to the search this year to provide
better coverage
and increase the discovery rate. "Only until the last few years has the
technology trickled down to the amateur whereby we can automate much of the
telescopes capabilities. "We are making a significant contribution to
science even though unlike the professional searches we don’t get a lot of
funding," Puckett said.

Investigators include:

Lou Cox, Brian Kerns, Steve Gauthier, Doug George, Alex Langoussis, David
Lyon, Mike Marcus, Jack Newton, Tim Puckett, Mike Peoples, Ajai Sehgal,
Ingrid Siegert, Debra Tigner , Dave Toth.

Details and a gallery of the discoveries may be found here.

POSS operations have been assisted by corporate sponsors and technology
partners: Apogee Instruments, DC-3 Dreams, Diffraction Limited, Software

For further information contact: Tim Puckett (Director) POSS

P.O. BOX 818 Ellijay, Ga. 30540 USA

+001(0)706 6361166 or 07066361167;


SpaceRef staff editor.