Bright New Supernova Star Blows Up in a Galaxy Next Door: PHOTO
Stargazer Steve Fossey had the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time when, using a modest telescope in foggy north London, he witnessed this bright and rare Type 1a supernova. The stellar explosion occurred in the nearby M82 Galaxy, nicknamed the Cigar Galaxy, which is about 12 million light years away.
Nature reports that a type 1a supernova is thought to form when "stellar material piles onto a white dwarf — an old dim star that has already shed excess mass — and passes a critical threshold, igniting a thermonuclear explosion."
Scientists say that it will be visible in the sky soon, as it brightens up.