Latest SNe



SNe Atlas






Meet us

ISN Friends

Join us








Observers Biographies


Who are some of the astronomy enthusiasts that patiently observe galaxies seeking feeble light from exploding stars? Where do they observe? What kind of instruments do they use? How can they be contacted? Meet them in this page!

Robert Evans, Australia

lives in Coonabarabran, New South Wales and he is a minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, Warrumbungle Parish. He began his visual hunt in 1980 with a 25cm telescope and has since discovered 30 supernovae. Currently he uses a 41cm and has limited access to the 1 meter telescope of Siding Spring. He is the chairman of the AAVSO Supernovae Search Committee.

Mirko Villi, Italy

lives in ForlÍ, Italy, and he works in a factory as accountant. He began to hunt SNe since 1990 with good luck: he discovered SN 1991T in NGC 4527, SN 1994W in NGC 4041 and 1998bu in NGC 3368. Before '90s he observed variable stars. He received the "A.A.V.S.O. Nova Award" and "G.Ruggieri" prize in 1995 for his discoveries and for good work done in Unione Astrofili Italiani Supernovae Section. His address is: C.P.7114 - 47100 ForlÍ, Italy.

Mark Armstrong, U.K.

lives in Rolvenden, England. He searches supernovae with a 10 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope coupled with a Starlight Xpress CCD camera. He is a member of the UK supernova patrol of The Astronomer network.

Michael Schwartz, U.S.A.

Michael Schwartz lives in Cottage Grove, Oregon. His discoveries include SN1997cx, SN1997da, SN1997db and SN 1998ci using a 14" (.36m) F/12 telescope, Apogee AP7 CCD camera and a Software Bisque automated ParaMount 1100. A 32" (.83m) F7 automated telescope is currently under construction and will be placed in Arizona. Please check his web site at http://www2.netcom.com/~pfactors/tenagra.html.

Stefano Pesci, Italy

lives in Milan, Italy, where he works in an insurance company. His first interest in supernova hunting dates to 1989, after a decade of variable star and deep sky observing. He hunts visually for supernovae using Dobsonian telescopes of 35cm and 50cm in diameter. His observing sites are in the Alps near Milan or in the Apennines, usually 100 to 150km from Milan. He manages 3500 to 4000 observation of galaxies per year on a program of some 600 of the closest galaxies. He has co-dicovered SN 1995al in NGC 3021 and SN 1996bk in NGC 5308 with his friend Piero Mazza, also a supernova hunter. He is also a telescope maker, on cloudy nights only! His address: Via Birolli 3, 20125 Milan, Italy.

Piero Mazza, Italy

lives in Milan, Italy, and he is by profession a musician in the Civic Orchestra. He was a keen deep sky observer before falling in love with galaxies and supernova hunting. He currently uses a 40cm Dobsonian telescope and hunts visually in the 400 closest galaxies. He usually observes with Stefano Pesci and with him he has co-discovered SN 1995al. He can be reached at Stefano Pesci's e-mail address or at: Via Melloni 24, 20129 Milan, Italy.

Steve H.Lucas, U.S.A.

Currently resides in Midlothian, Illinois USA is an "over-the-road" truck driver, who expediates commodities throughout the midwestern region of the U.S. His interest in supernovae work, began in 1985, when he saw a need to establish a verification team to monitor sightings of suspect supernovae in various galaxies. His small team SUNSEARCH,(SUperNovae SEARCH) made their first confirmed discovery in NGC 2336 (1987L)(Dana Patchick). Steve, just missed reconfirming the SN in NGC 3627(M66) two days earlier than the confirmed confirmation date due to overcast conditions (IAUC #t4735). Four more events, which were on the teams observing list, were missed due to weather conditions, and/or assigned galaxies not being monitored at the time of outburst. The team disbanded in 1991. Due to severe light pollution and recent work constraints, searching for supernovae has become all but impossible, so he prefers to provide tools to other interested supernovae observers (in the form of monitoring programs), a Virgo Cluster search program is planned for release in the near future, and will be made available thru the I.S.N. Home page. Steve, hopes to avail himself to the efforts of the I.S.N. in any capacity as the founders deem helpful.

Pete and Bobbie Elston, Australia

live in Sydney where Pete is a pilot with Qantas Airways and Bobbie is a nurse. They started supernova hunting in 1995 and use a ten inch Dobsonian. They are members of the South East Queensland Astronomical Society.

Yasuhide Fujita, Japan

uses a CCD for his search and he has discovered independently SN1994I in M51.

David Lane, Canada

uses a 41cm f/12 Cassegrain telescope at St. Mary University coupled to a CCD. He has co-discovered SN1995F in NGC 2726.

Christopher Spratt, Canada

lives in Victoria, British Columbia. He has been a member of the AAVSO since 1961 and has contributed over 33,000 (visual) variable star estimates. Most of his visual observing is done with an 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope. He has been searching (visually) for supernovae for many years. But, alas, without success! He hopes to enter the CCD field one day.

Paul Gray and Shawn Mitchell, Canada

both use the 41cm f/12 Cassegrain telescope at St. Mary University coupled to a CCD. Paul has codiscovered with David Lane SN1995F.

Giulio ScarfÍ, Italy.

He lives in La Spezia, Italy, where he was born in 1964. He has been a supernovae hunter since 1989. At first he searched S.N. visually, but, in 1991, with the diffusion of the C.C.D., he began to make reserches with them. Since 1992 has been using a ST-6 coupled to a 16 inch f/8 Ritchey-Cretien telescope on Mount Visseggi Observatory of La Spezia. Besides, now he has the HI-SIS 22. He has a photometry filters for C.C.D. on B V R bands of the Bessel series (thick 4mm) through usually get, on photometry at all sky, the accuracy of 0.08 mg in blue, 0.02 mg on green and 0.02 mg on red.

Peter Marples, Australia.

He lives in Loganholme, Queensland and is a member of the Southern Astronomical Society . He searches with a 14.5 inch Dobsonian telescope.

John Sanford, USA.

He is a member of the Orange County Astronomers club located in Anza, California. He searches with various telescopes, among them OCA's 22 inch, and a Starlight Xpress CCD.

Brendan Downs, Australia.

He lives in Ipswich, Queensland and is a member of the Southern Astronomical Society and Brisbane Astronomical Society, both in south east Queensland, Australia. He searches with an LX200 and a ST7 CCD. Recently he confirmed the discovery of 1996X by Evans and Takamizawa.

Stuart Parker, New Zealand.

He lives in New Zealand and searches supernovae with an 18 inch telescope on a programme of bright galaxies.

Lew Gramer, USA

He lives in Medford, MA and uses a 12.5" f/4.8 dob, visual only. He generally observes from a site with a 5.3-5.7 limiting mag. Other sites are 1-3 hours' drive from his home, with LMs ranging as low as 7.2. He's also a regular meteor observer for IMO and a deep sky observer.

Alan Thomson, Australia

He's an engineer by profession and when hunting SNs he uses a 20" telescope. With Peter and Bobbie Elston he is part of a group of amateurs coordinated by Ian Wilson. Please contact him at Peter's e-mail.

Peter Ward, U.K.

He is a pilot with British Airways and lives in Guildford, UK. He observes visually using an 18" Dobsonian, and also takes part in the UK Supernova Patrol with fellow members from the Guildford Astronomical Society.

Wayne Johnson, USA

belongs to the Riverside Astronomical Society (RAS) and the Orange County Astronomers (OCA) and he is known as Mr. Galaxy because of his long interest in those objects. He has been searching for SNe since about 1988 and became more serious about it after viewing M66 the night before Bob Evans in January of 1989 found the SN in it! Primarily he uses the OCA's 22-inch Cassegrain at f/4 along with a Patterson Electronics CCD camera for his searches, though he always checks the field visually first to determine whether the SN suspect can be detected by eye. Typically he takes 60-second exposures with the CCD cooled to -30 degrees F so that his limiting magnitude is about 19th magn unfiltered. The telescope is located in a roll-off roof observatory on a 20-acre site near the town of Anza, California, USA in the high desert at 4350 feet above sea level. It is about 15 air miles north of Palomar Mountain Observatory. He is the first amateur SN hunter to find two SNe in one night, though that feat has now been duplicated. Unfortunately, the OCA Observatory is over an hour away from his house so that his searches have been limited to an occasional weekend or two per month because of his work schedule as an electronics engineer for Boeing, a common complaint for most of us! On a typical night he will image about 50 galaxies and has an archive of a couple thousand images. He really enjoys hunting for SNe and knowing the people around the world involved in it. It's nice to see changes happening in galaxies and it's fun to be among the first to see those changes occurring and to follow up on the discoveries made by others. Check out his web site.