But only for two days. A dying star that exploded 21 million years ago (not Ke$ha) has sent its light across space and will be visible from Earth under good weather conditions and with some decent binoculars or at least a 3″ aperture telescope.
The supernova, cryptically named “PTF11kly” by people who know how to name supernovas better than we do (I’d have called it George, Barry or Antoine…) is a type 1a and is located within the Ursa Major constellation, also known as The Big Dipper. What really gets me though, is the statement, a bold one, where Peter Nugent, astronomer, is quoted as saying: “Astronomers haven’t seen a supernova so close to Earth in 25 years, he said – nor one as bright in more than 40 years.”
It’s the part where he says: “…one as bright…” Wait, it’s so dim it needs binoculars and favorable viewing conditions to be seen, and it’s one of the brightest ones to be seen in 40 years, yet they call it a supernova?
Sounds like micronova to me. Anyone armed with Bushnell 10x50s can view the tiny white dot on the nights of Sept. 8th and 9th. Enjoy your dot peeps. If you’re lucky though, you might catch something really exciting, like a passing satellite. Now that’s something worth getting the Bushnells out for.