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'Supernova of a Generation': Brightest Exploding Star in 40 Years Spotted

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posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:19 AM
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'Supernova of a Generation': Brightest Exploding Star in 40 Years Spotted


www.ibtimes.com

Astronomers from Berkeley have discovered the closest supernova, or exploded star, in 40 years in the Pinwheel Galaxy, located just 21 million light-years from Earth.

On Tuesday night, the supernova exploded in the Pinwheel Galaxy, which was the closest star explosion of its type observed since 1972, according to astronomers.

The type Ia supernova, which researchers believe they caught within hours of its explosion, was dubbed as PTF11kly. The supernova is getting brighter and could be visible with a good pair of binoculars in the next 10 days.

"PTF 11kly is getting brighter by the m
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
latimesblogs.latime s.com




posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:19 AM
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This will be visible with just a pair of binoculars, but would no doubt be even more breathtaking with a telescope. Look in the Northern Hemisphere at night, right on the 'handle' of the Big Dipper. The 9th is supposed to be the best day to view.

I am so excited to see this! I seem to miss everything from meteor showers to eclipses but I figure with a weeks time I can probably manage a glimpse of this Supernova. I'm hoping some members here with better equipment can even get some neat pictures or video and post it up.

www.ibtimes.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:19 AM
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posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:26 AM
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Wow, good job Berkeley. They seem to come out with good stuff all the time. Living in California, I wish I had a good telescope still.

Thanks for sharing, will be sure to look up more often at night because of this.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by ThinkingCap
 


Glad to hear it! Me too!

I just realized there is another thread about this but as this one is in Breaking News I think it is safe. That and I think more people will probably see this with 2 threads! I'll link the other.

The Other Thread With A Video
edit on 4-9-2011 by Domo1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:54 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


Well, there goes the neighborhood. That is just going to make an awful mess for all those people living around there. Can't something be done about all these Type 1A angry stars... I mean just just look at it !



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 01:13 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 


This is fascinating, astronomy never ceases to amaze me. What's more interesting, this happened approx 21 million years ago judging by it's distance..... We're looking back in time. Who says time travel is impossible? We already know that we can look back in time in space...

I don't think any human being can comprehend the size of that supernova. It stands right next to that entire galaxy.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 01:16 AM
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reply to post by Southern Guardian
 


That is really mind blowing. Watching a 21 million year old event unfold. Makes me feel all small and squishy. You're right, I can' comprehend how big this actually is.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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Domo - first of all, i love your threads.

there was a night in about... 1993-ish (i am really grasping here, but that is very close, within a couple years of 93 i am thinking) that me and my sister and my brother and his best friend left my moms house, in the middle of nowhere, to go 'to town" to the convenience store. when i say "to town" i mean the nearest town to my moms house is about 20 miles away and it's a town called Hillsboro, Texas. We ALMOST made it up state hwy 171 to Hillsboro when my car ran out of gas, so we ended up having to get out of the car and walk to Hillsboro to the Love's truck stop for gas. while we were walking (and it is... er.... WAS at that time... very, very dark out there in the middle of nowhere) all the sudden this thing in the sky looked like it exploded... got HUGE and bright and then just as the light projected from it, it (the light) seemed to implode in to it and it became very dark, but yet you could still see it falling (there was a trail) kind of zig zagging downward in the sky. it was THE trippiest thing i have ever seen.

whatever it was hit the news the very next day - and i remember thinking or reading something about a nova or supernova, but in my older years i am unclear about what i read. i have tried to google it - the date i keep remembering and the area - but to no avail. i do not know if it was a satellite exploding... a star.... what it was... but i have never and will never forget it. it lit up the entire sky when it exploded, like it was daytime out... it was WEIRD.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 01:52 AM
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reply to post by highpriestess
 


Wow that's a cool story. Did it frighten you or was it too amazing to be scared? I doubt it was a Supernova from what I've read the are a little hard to see and we haven't had a big one for a long time. Perhaps a meteor. Either way I wish I had gotten to see it!



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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reply to post by Domo1
 

ya know... we weren't scared at all. and since it was the 90's i remember thinking that i needed to watch Jack Horkheimer on PBS the next night or so, that SURELY he would know what it was or mention it. But then the next morning it was in the newspaper. it was the Waco, Texas newspaper that we read about it... just to acclimate you, Hillsboro is located in central texas... and it is alllll farmland out here. or then it was all farmland... now it's a GMO wasteland that has nothing but dead brown straw where thriving green corn fields used to exist. he who walks behind the rows must be PISSED. just sayin. anyway... now that you have reminded me of this event with your thread, i will investigate further and should i find the original newspaper articles, i will u2u you and let you know... or post it here in this thread...

edit on 4-9-2011 by highpriestess because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 02:02 AM
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Wow, what an amazing ... little white dot.



Seriously, interesting article... just glad it was so far away. Those gamma ray bursts give me a rash.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 02:28 AM
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Some pictures to help you find it.

First, find yourself the "big dipper"...



The two on the end of the "handle" are a good starting spot, to then use to locate the Pinwheel Galaxy, Messier 101...



To see the galaxy itself, you will need a rather large telescope. Probably at least an 8 inch reflector.
If you can see the galaxy, then you can use photos (see a few posts above) of where the supernova is to locate it for sure.
If you cannot see the galaxy (and that will be all of you with binoculars), you'll have to draw a picture of where you see stars in that area, and check over the course of the next week or so which one changes brightness and eventually fades into invisibility several weeks from now.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 02:42 AM
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reply to post by alfa1
 


Awesome thanks so much for posting that it's going to be helpful.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 02:48 AM
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Originally posted by Domo1
The type Ia supernova, which researchers believe they caught within hours of its explosion, was dubbed as PTF11kly.


Just a note here.
The name PTF11kly was just an interim short term temporary name until it got a real official name.
It is now SN2011fe.

SN for SuperNova, 2011 for the year, and fe because it is the 161 th supernova discovered this year. Thats right, there have been 160 discovered already this year before this one, and another 8 discovered since.

How bright is it now?
This page from the AAVSO has a graph showing estimates of brightness listed over time.
The most current is about mag 10.5 which is still quite faint for anything except a telescope.
AAVSO
But it is still getting brighter, so keep checking it every few days.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 05:59 AM
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Awesome! I will look for this. I wish a star like Betelgeuse would pop in my lifetime. That would sure be a spectacle!



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 09:21 AM
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Astronomers from Berkeley have discovered the closest supernova, or exploded star, in 40 years in the Pinwheel Galaxy, located just 21 million light-years from Earth


It might be worth mentioning SN1987a at this point, which occurred 24 years ago in the Large Magellanic Cloud.....only 160,000 light years from Earth.
edit on 4-9-2011 by Mogget because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 10:55 AM
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So did this star actually go supernova millions of years ago and is now gone, or is it actually going supernova now?



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 11:52 AM
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If it's 21 million light years distant, then it exploded 21 million years ago. However, the light from the supernova has only just reached us, so we get to see it now.



posted on Sep, 4 2011 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by Mogget
If it's 21 million light years distant, then it exploded 21 million years ago. However, the light from the supernova has only just reached us, so we get to see it now.


Kind of a nosebleed section sort of thing. We would have seen it earlier if we had bought better tickets..


Actually, we generally do not want a supernova to be very close. Gamma rays from the final detonation have such high energy that they can strip away part or all of our EM shield and leave us unprotected to the point that the only thing that will survive is ocean creatures and cockroaches (nothing kill them).




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