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Amateur Astronomers: We Need Your Help!

If you consider yourself an amateur astronomer, SNEWS may be your chance to make a significant contribution to science. By acting on a SNEWS alert you may be the first to pinpoint a rare Galactic supernova and make early observations!

In the event of a supernova, neutrino detectors may yield limited information about where the supernova source is. In the best case, it may be a few degrees; in the worst case there could be no pointing information at all. Therefore amateurs, with their wide viewing capabilities, may well be the first to find the supernova and point more powerful telescopes to the event. Very early data taken by amateurs themselves may be of prime importance, too. Because Galactic supernovae are so rare (a few per century), it will be especially crucial to see the very early turn-on of the light. The time between the neutrino burst warning and the first visible light could be minutes, hours or days, depending on the nature of the stellar envelope and the amount of obscuration.

Time is of the essence. If you receive a SNEWS alert, act on it swiftly!