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Discovery of New Optical Transient in M81

ATEL # 1330; Mansi M Kasliwal, Robert Quimby, Arne Rau, Eran Ofek, Brad Cenko, Shri Kulkarni (Caltech)
on 14 Dec 2007; 23:30 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Transients)
Password Certification: Mansi Manoj Kasliwal (

Subjects: Optical, Cataclysmic Variables, Nova, Transients

On UT 2007 Dec 13.40, the automated Palomar 60-inch telescope discovered a new optical transient 40"W and 40"N from the center of M81 at RA(J2000) = 09:55:25.98, Dec(J2000) = +69:04:34.8. P60-M81OT-071213 had an apparent magnitude at discovery of g = 20.5 +/- 0.1. This transient was confirmed on UT 2007 Dec 14.48 at g = 21.6 +/- 0.1 and not previously detected on image obtained on UT 2007 Dec 11.46 (g > 22). Assuming P60-M81OT-071213 is in M81, and has a distance modulus of 27.8 (Saha et al 2006), the absolute magnitude at discovery is Mg = -7.3. There is no catalogued source in SIMBAD and no catalogued counterpart in SDSS DR6. Also, P60-M81OT-071213 is not a known Minor Planet and does not move between images separated by 2min,1hr,5hr,1day. We are pursuing and encourage multi-band photometric and spectroscopic followup.

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R. E. Rutledge , Editor
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