The AAVSO and preparation for the next visible Milky Way supernova
The last very bright supernova in the Milky was occurred in 1604. Estimates of how frequently such supernova are visible - on average - disagree by a factor of a few, but one per century is not far from the mark. So our recent experience with accurately measuring Nova Del 2013 - which peaked at the faint end of naked eye visibility - suggests a few things:
- the AAVSO *can* play a very important role - even the most important role - in obtaining calibrated photometry of very bright objects.
- we need to seriously plan and prepare if we are to have a hope of measuring a really bright transient accurately!
By the time such a supernova occurs, it will be too late to work out the wrinkles. If you think saturation and comp stars are an issue at mag 5, try mag -4!
Just a thought!