Supernova to be visible for up to 2 weeks

Twenty-one million light years away — right next door when you consider the size of the universe — something unspeakably violent has happened. A star has died, exploding into what astronomers call a supernova.

Newly Discovered Supernova Peaking This Weekend

The nearest supernova of its type to be discovered for 40 years is predicted to be at its brightest in September and will be visible through a good pair of binoculars.
The supernova, which was first spotted on 24 Augustby scientists from Oxford University and the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF) collaboration, is in the Pinwheel Galaxy, M101.

Whilst not visible to the naked eye, with a clear sky anyone can observe the supernova using a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope:

To find M101 look for the formation known as ‘The Plough’ or ‘Big Dipper’, trace from the end of the ‘handle’ of The Plough and find the second star along, Mirza, and M101 lies four degrees to the East. Observers will see a bright star at the edge of one of M101’s spiral arms.

It looks more or less like just another bright star, unlike its companions this supernova will soon fade away, and after a few days it will only be visible with larger telescopes.
The Plough, also known as the Big Dipper or the Saptarshi (after the seven rishis), is an asterism of seven stars that has been recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures from time immemorial. The component stars are the seven brightest of the formalconstellation Ursa Major.

The Oxford University-PTF team are using the Hubble Space Telescope to observe the supernova. These observations began about five days after the explosion and will continue into mid-October, including investigating the supernova's ultraviolet properties which cannot be studied from the ground.
The discovery of the supernova is particularly important because it is a type 1a supernova – the kind used by scientists to measure the expansion of the Universe.


ഷാജി said...

ഹൊ! ഇതെന്റെ ശ്രദ്ധയിൽ പെട്ടില്ലല്ലോ. വിവരം തന്നതിന് നന്ദി.

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