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IAUC 4316: 1987A; N Cen 1986

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                                                  Circular No. 4316
Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION
Postal Address: Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
TWX 710-320-6842 ASTROGRAM CAM    Telephone 617-495-7244/7440/7444


SUPERNOVA 1987A IN THE LARGE MAGELLANIC CLOUD
     W. Kunkel and B. Madore, Las Campanas Observatory, report the
discovery by Ian Shelton, University of Toronto Las Campanas
Station, of a mag 5 object, ostensibly a supernova, in the Large
Magellanic Cloud at R.A. = 5h35m.4, Decl. = -69 16' (equinox 1987.2), 18'
west and 10' south of 30 Dor and possibly involved with the
association NGC 2044.  The discovery was made around Feb. 24.23 UT on
a 3-hr exposure with a 0.25-m astrograph beginning on Feb. 24.06,
and the object had evidently brightened by at least about 8 mag since
the previous night.  An independent suspected sighting was made
visually by Oscar Duhalde, also at Las Campanas, around Feb. 24.2.
The object had brightened to about mag 4.5 by Feb. 24.33.
     F. M. Bateson, Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand,
informs us that the object was discovered independently by Albert
Jones, Nelson, on Feb. 24.37 UT (position  R.A. = 5h35m.8, Decl. = -69 18',
equinox 1950.0) at mag  6.5-7.0  (in clouds); he estimated mv = 5.1
on Feb. 24.46.  B. Moreno and S. Walker, Auckland Observatory,
obtained V = 4.81, B-V = +0.085, U-B = -0.836 on Feb. 24.454 UT.
     R. H. McNaught, Siding Spring Observatory, communicates the
following visual magnitude estimates by G. Garradd (G) and himself
(M): Feb. 24.455, 4.8 (M); 24.472, 4.8 (M); 24.635, 4.4 (G);
24.679, 4.5 (M); 24.717, 4.4 (M).  McNaught obtained the following
precise position with the University of Aston Hewitt Satellite
Schmidt camera: R.A. = 5h35m50s.22, Decl. = -69 17'59".2 (equinox
1950.0, uncertainty 2").  The object appears on films from the
previous night: Feb. 23.443, 6.0; 23.445, 6.2.  He also notes the
position of a blue star, of mv about 12 and not obviously variable
during the past century (through Feb. 22.4): R.A. = 5h35m50s.12, Decl. =
-69 17'58".0 (equinox 1950.0; x = 15447, y = 9261 in the Harvard
LMC system).  Films by Garradd confirm that the field was
identical down to mag 14.5 on Jan. 24 and Feb. 22.
     B. Warner, University of Texas, reports that a spectroscopic
observation by J. Menzies on Feb. 24.9 UT with the 1.9-m reflector
at the South African Astronomical Observatory shows the 615-nm
dip, indicating that the object may be a supernova of type I.


NOVA CENTAURI 1986
     Magnitude estimates by McNaught show that this object has
again brightened: Feb. 21.78 UT, 12.5; 22.60, 12.3; 22.79, 12.1.


1987 February 24               (4316)              Brian G. Marsden

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