A bright new supernova appears in the night sky

(CNN) – A bright new supernova appeared in the night sky, and A The telescope on top of Mauna Keain Hawaii, fully prepared to capture the aftermath of a cosmic explosion.

On May 19, Japanese astronomer Koichi Itagaki first observed a supernova in the spiral arms of the Pinwheel galaxy. Itagaki, an avid supernova hunter, has detected more than 80 stellar explosions from his observatory in the Yamagata Mountains in Japan.

The supernova, named SN 2023ixf, is the closest it has been seen in five years. A supernova occurs when a star violently explodes at the end of its life.

The Pinwheel Galaxy is located in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. About 21 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy faces Earth, revealing its impressive spiral structure and the nearly 1 billion stars it contains.

The galaxy’s spiral arms are filled with nebulae, or regions of star birth, highlighted with a pinkish light. The blue dots of light in the image from the Hawaii Telescope reflect the population of hot, young stars. Dark dust regions are a key component of star formation.

(Credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)

The new supernova glows bright blue in one of the galaxy’s spiral arms, lower left of the image. Astronomers believe it to be a type II supernova, when a star between eight to 50 times the mass of our Sun exhausts its reserves of nuclear fuel, collapses, and explodes. This is the second supernova observed in the Pinwheel galaxy in 15 years.

Astronomers use telescopes to observe the newly discovered supernova to better understand how stars explode and to track the evolution of the explosion’s brightness and fading over time.

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A new supernova-tracking image taken by the Gemini North telescope, located in Hawaii, marks its return to scientific observations after a seven-month hiatus.

The primary mirror of a telescope broke up in October While being transported, one of the edges was chipped. It has since been refurbished, given a fresh coat of protective coating, and reinstalled, allowing the telescope to resume its search for cosmic phenomena in the night sky.

Lovell Loxley

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