New Supernova!

For those Dopers who live n the Northern Hemisphere and possessed of an astronomical bent, there’s some exciting news: a Type 1a supernova has just been spotted in the galaxy M82. It’s visible in binoculars, and should be quite a sight in a telescope. If you can brave the cold, go out and see it!

Thank you! Going to check that out in the Celestron 5 that I have as soon as skies are clear.

Shame–it’s overcast here, natch. :frowning:

It’s not a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it thing. Supernovae remain bright for a few months, and this one apparently won’t even be at its peak brightness for another couple of weeks.

In case this applies to anyone here, a call has been put out to astrophotographers to see if they have any pre-discovery images of it.

Can we anticipate a star going nova? Is it possible that a nearby star, say within 100 light years*, could go nova anytime soon and we wouldn’t know?

*How close would they have to be to destroy us?

I remember SN1987A, the biggie from (natch) 1987.

Stopping in the middle of nowhere (away from light pollution) on our way home from holidays to point out to my wife a star that hadn’t been there a month before, and indeed the first such naked-eye event for 400 years, left her … unimpressed.

One of the few times I wondered if I had married the right girl.

I found the answer to my own question, from an ex-Doper no less.

p.s. go to Wikipedia entry for 1987A to see a gif of the expansion of the debris cloud from 1987A in the last 25 years.

Thanks, hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a peak from where I am.

: off to the binoculars/telescope store:

The parents gave me a Celestron 90mm refractor for Christmas. This sounds like a good chance to use it.

I’ve spent some time trying to find this with my telescope and haven’t been able to see it definitively. So some guidance would be appreciated! I’m in the suburbs, so I’m wondering if the ambient light will be too bright for me to make out the Cigar Galaxy. For reference, I’ve found the Orion Nebula with my telescope, and can make out the cloud well enough to be sure that I’ve found it. But I see on wiki that the Cigar Galaxy is quite a bit dimmer than the Orion Nebula, so maybe it’s unrealistic to find it here. Any thoughts?

D18, it sounds like it’s time for a road trip! It is always easier to find galaxies under dark skies. You’ll have much better luck if you drive far enough out of town to be able to see the Milky Way.

Thanks, Artemis! Fortunately, I’m on the frontier of the suburbs so I should be able to find some reasonably dark skies with not too long of a drive.

I’m going to have to head out to the country to see this. My parking lot is brightly lit and my view to the north is directly over the water treatment plant and its security lighting.

Fortunately, the local astronomy club has a dark night meetup this weekend in a remote forest…

Isn’t “New Supernova” redundant? :stuck_out_tongue:

Technically, they’re actually all old supernovae.

Is this still visible? I have the chance to head out to darker skies tonight if it still is.

It’s faded a bit, but you can still see it. Details here.