S and Planet Mercury Messenger NASA

The independent detection of the supernova by Ernst Hartwig at Dorpat (Tartu) Observatory in Estonia on August 20, 1885, however, was communicated in a telegram on August 31, 1885, once Hartwig had verified in more ideal circumstances that the feature was not caused by reflected moonlight. The telegram prompted widespread observations of the event, and prompted Isaac Ward, Ludovic Gully, and several others to publish their earlier observations (the first reports on S And appeared before Hartwig’s discovery letter which followed his telegram, since the letter was initially lost by Astronomische Nachrichten and only reprinted in a later issue). The history of the discovery is summarized by K. G. Jones and de Vaucouleurs and Corwin. Both studies doubt that Ward really saw the event since his estimated magnitude is significantly off from the later reconstructed lightcurve and conclude that Hartwig should be considered as the discoverer of the Supernova.