Posted on May 26, 2023 at 12:35 pm by Gabriel GADRE
It is estimated that 1,000 supernovae explode in the universe every second. Nevertheless, these events are rarely visible to us humans. This event, which took place not far from our world, will actually be visible!
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The universe may be immense, but it’s not every day that a massive star explodes near our world! Well, obviously this small distance is on a space scale, but the proof of it is that it will be visible and will be live streamed. An opportunity not to be missed by astronomy enthusiasts.
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SN 2023ifx, the supernova of galaxy M101
It was the American Space Agency (NASA) itself that announced the news. Now telescopes are focused on this cosmic zone where a supernova has just ended.
Of course, the event is not from yesterday, but for us humans it has only been observable for a few days. The further we look into space, and the further back in time we travel. A classic of astronomy.
Superstar astronomer Koichi Itagaki discovered this incredible star, or what remains of it, on May 19th. The latter bears the poetic name SN 2023ifx and was discovered two days earlier thanks to the Zwicky Transcient Facility. This is a wide-angle camera installed in California. It provides us with astronomical readings of the sky using automated images.
21 million light years away
Discovered in galaxy M101, itself located 21 million light-years from Earth, this supernova has taken the place of the closest cosmic explosions to Earth. for the last 5 years and the second for 10 years.
In a press release from the Virtual Telescope 2.0, a spontaneous project by astronomy enthusiasts with access to images from various telescopes, they explain:
“Although we discover many possible supernovae every year, it is extraordinary that one of them is visible with a small telescope,” according to their press release published on their website. “SN 2023ixf is one of them, thanks to its distance from “only” 20 million light-years away from us.”
“Supernova discovered in nearby spiral galaxy M101” image from the #NASA_Apphttps://t.co/4VzN1PnZLj#astrophotography #Astronomy #Space #supernova pic.twitter.com/ANr5PYTVpy
— Swetilein (@Svetilein1) May 22, 2023
The Death of a Star
And for those who would like to better understand what they would be seeing in this live stream, NASA issued a brief explanation of this phenomenon in a press release: “Rapid observations indicate that SN 2023ixf is a Type I supernova.”
“It’s an explosion that occurs when a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses.” They move on. “The featured image shows the spiral galaxy two days ago the highlighted supernova, while the overlay image shows the same galaxy a month earlier. SN 2023ixf is expected to intensify and remain visible to telescopes for months.”