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Bright New Supernova Star Blows Up in a Galaxy Next Door: PHOTO

  M82

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.

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Comments

  1. Wow! I hope they all got out OK!

    Posted by: NotSafeForWork | Jan 24, 2014 7:32:29 PM


  2. Can't wait to go out and try to see it!

    Posted by: Timothy | Jan 24, 2014 9:44:48 PM


  3. Geek tastic, Andy Towle. I think I love you.

    Posted by: Rob | Jan 25, 2014 7:38:58 AM


  4. I thought I felt a ripple in The Force.

    Posted by: BobN | Jan 25, 2014 11:20:59 AM


  5. I doubt it will be visible without binoculars, though it should get fairly bright for a supernova in another galaxy. What we need is a supernova in this galaxy. The last one was 400 years ago and we're overdue.

    Posted by: anon | Jan 25, 2014 12:08:30 PM


  6. That wasn't a star blowing up, it was the Death Star....along time ago in a galaxy not so far away....

    Posted by: Polar Beast | Jan 25, 2014 6:07:39 PM


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