Thursday, September 8, 2011

One last chance to view spectacular supernova

If you've got a pair of binoculars, this will be your last chance to view a new supernova that was recently discovered near the Big Dipper, about 21 million light-years away from Earth. Astronomers describe this as the supernova of a generation, adding it is the closest and brightest supernova of this type detected in the last 30 years. When the discovery was reported by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California in late August, scientists excitedly announced that the supernova, dubbed PTF 11kly, was getting brighter by the minute. Although 21 million light-years covers an enormous chunk of space, it's still considered to be a relatively small distance (by astronomical standards.) So don't miss the opportunity. If you've been dilatory, you have one more good chance to check it out as the supernova will reach its brightest display on Sept. 8. More>