Saturday, January 25, 2014

New Supernova May Be Visible in Binoculars in February

The M82 galaxy is the proud owner of this type Ia supernova, and right now all eyes are on it <i>(Image: UCL/University of London Observatory/Steve Fossey/Ben Cooke/Guy Pollack/Matthew Wilde/Thomas Wright)</i>

The M82 galaxy is the proud owner of this type Ia
supernova, and right now all eyes are on it.
(Image: UCL/University of London Observatory/
Steve Fossey/Ben Cooke/Guy Pollack/Matthew
Wilde/Thomas Wright)

An elderly star has lit up a cosmic cigar. Images of the galaxy M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy, show the sudden appearance of a supernova (Supernova SN 2014J), the brilliant explosion when a massive star dies. The event might offer new clues to dark energy and the ultimate fate of the universe.

The light from this explosion is reaching us from about 11.4 million light years away. That's not as close to Earth as the current record holder (Supernova SN 1987A), which appeared about 160,000 light years away in a small satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. Still, that was in 1987 and the new supernova is the closest one we've spotted since then.

"It's very rare to have them go off as close as this one," says Brad Tucker at the Australian National University in Canberra. The supernova is not visible to the naked eye, but it is rapidly brightening and should be visible with binoculars in the next few weeks.

More - Link >>> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24923-closest-supernova-in-27-years-may-reveal-fate-of-cosmos.html#.UuRrHrROnIU

Source: New Scientist Magazine.

More on ---
Supernovas: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova
Supernova SN 2014J: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_2014J
Supernova SN 1987A: Link >>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1987_supernova

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