This close-up image of the nearby galaxy M101 was obtained with the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. M101 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major and is quite similar to our own Galaxy. It is about 20 million light years (6.4 Mpc) away. The supernova is clearly visible as the bright, bluish star in the upper, right portion of the image. It is the closest Type 1a supernova to be observed since 1972. This image was obtained on September 18th, 2011, about two weeks after the supernova achieved its peak brightness. This image was created by combining images taken in four filters: B (blue), V (green), I (orange), and Hydrogen-Alpha (red). In the image north is to the left and east is down.
T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage), H. Schweiker & S. Pakzad NOIRLab/NSF/AURA