Update at 9 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) May 26: The live broadcast of Supernova 2023ixf has been rescheduled to 6:30 PM EST (2230 GMT) on Friday, May 26 due to inclement weather.
The newly discovered supernova can be watched as it evolves in real time online and for free.
This particular galaxy and supernova can be difficult to see in the night sky without the right conditions or a telescope. Fortunately, the Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast the cosmic explosion on its website And YouTube channel It is developing through its own powered robotic telescopes based in Rome, Italy. The event will begin online at 6:30 PM EST (2230 GMT) on Friday, May 26. Note that this event is weather dependent and may be postponed or canceled due to adverse conditions.
The supernova, named SN 2023ixf, is one of the largest and brightest in a decade. The exploding star was first spotted in an image taken by experienced supernova hunter Koichi Itagaki, of Yamagata, Japan, on Friday, May 19, 2023. This initial observation was followed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) telescopes in California, which confirmed the discovery on Saturday (May 20). .
SN 2023ixf’s proximity and the fact that it was shining brighter than its initial size made the supernova a popular target for amateur astronomers with backyard telescopes who could see it as a tiny speck of light. This new supernova is located in the Messier 101 (or M101) galaxy, also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, home to the star known as the Big Dipper, and a popular observational target for novice astronomers.
Related: This new supernova is the closest to Earth in a decade. It is visible in the night sky now.
Hubble is investigating Ext Star SN2023IXF with Erez Zimmerman’s Space Telescope Imaging Spectroradiometer (STIS/CCD). https://t.co/slQjAKMxI1 pic.twitter.com/NnWkjtNhpAMay 22, 2023
“While we discover many supernova candidates each year, having one visible through small telescopes is exceptional. SN 2023ixf is one of them, thanks to being only 20 million light-years away from us,” Italian astrophysicist, astronomer and founder of the Virtual Telescope Project Books , Gianluca Massi, on his website. “In addition, its host galaxy, spiral Messier 101, is one of the most beautiful cosmic islands out there, which makes the view even more valuable and unique.”
Since it explosively burst onto the scene, astronomers have been studying the supernova with ever more sophisticated and out-of-this-world equipment, including the Hubble Space Telescope. Space Telescope Live was announced on his Twitter feed On Tuesday, May 22, Hubble was eyeing a relatively nearby supernova.
If you want to observe the supernova yourself, Space.com skywatching columnist Joe Rao offers some tips. The Pinwheel galaxy containing the new supernova is located near the boundary Ursa Major (Big Bear) from Boötes Shepherd“If you locate the Big Dipper,” Rao said, “imagine a line extending from two of the stars in the handle, Alioth and Mizar. Continuing this line a similar distance beyond Mizar would place one in the general vicinity of M101. Experienced amateur astronomers familiar with spotting M101 can They visually see the supernova as a spot of light out of place in one of the spiral arms.”
The supernova SN 2023ixf should remain visible in the Pinwheel galaxy for the next few months before fading away.
If you want to take a look at supernova SN 2023ixf, our guides to The best telescopes And best binoculars Great place to start. Make sure you get the right telescope lens! A low-magnification, wide-angle lens should do the trick.
And if you’re looking to take pictures of the supernova, the Pinwheel galaxy, or the night sky in general, check out our guides to The best cameras for astrophotography And The best lenses for astrophotography.
Editor’s note: If you took a photo of SN 2023ixf, and would like to share it with Space.com readers, send your photo(s), comments, name, and location to [email protected].
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