The Supernova Spotter
Tom Reiland Spotted the Supernova Through a Scope
Photo: Bill Snyder, Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Tom Reiland, a member of Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh (AAAP), one of the Night Sky Network's most active clubs, was the first to spot a supernova through a telescope at the Nicholas E. Wagman Observatory. Others saw it using digital images, but Tom was the first to see it through a scope.

Tom's been observing for a very long time. He's even had an asteroid named after him for his contributions to astronomy and his time at AAAP. Tom tells us how he found the supernova, a star cluster, and more in this great, short audio interview on KDKA radio.

The Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh are always welcoming new people to their events. The club is holding loads of public events and star parties, their calendar is packed. If you're in the area, be sure to join them on June 17th or June 19th to catch a viewing of the supernova in M51.

Another Night Sky Network club member, Brian Ottum of University Lowbrow Astronomers in Ann Arbor, with Dipankar Maitra, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Michigan's astronomy department, have been taking photographs of the recently discovered supernova. Their club also has oodles of events that you'll want to go to if you can.

Want more?

Read more about the supernova and how it was spotted on Sky & Telescope Magazine

Read more about Tom Rieland on The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Check out photos of the supernova by Bill Snyder, also of the Amateur Astronomers Association of Pittsburgh

Read more about the University Lowbrow Astronomers and their outreach

Most of all, get yourself to a star party quickly! These amateurs are talented and fun to hang out with! You'll fall in love with the sky the more you see.

Find a club in your area, find star parties on you iPhone using Go StarGaze, and join the conversation on Facebook.

Clear Skies!