An amateur Japanese astronomer discovered a supernova He occurs once every ten years, This stellar explosion is a phenomenon that astonishes the scientific world and any astronomy lover. In addition to visually surprising our audience, your observation can help us to Understand how dying massive stars give rise to strange objects Like neutron stars and black holes.
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The amateur astronomer who became the discoverer of the supernova
Koichi Itagaki is known for his love of stargazing. In his usual routine, he noticed something a little different in a spiral galaxy called M101. A bright new halo of light caught his attention. They soon learned that it was a supernova located 21 million light-years from Earth. Itagaki formally named it SN 2023ixf.
Koichi Itagaki, an amateur astronomer, said, “It took me about five minutes to confirm that it was a supernova. The discovery was made in bad weather and lots of clouds. We were lucky.”
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Upon learning of the discovery, NASA confirmed that it is the closest eruption to Earth that has occurred in the last five years and the second in the last ten years.
This achievement may seem extraordinary. But It is not the first time that Itagaki has discovered a supernova, The Japanese have already made 172 discoveries since they began observing the sky in 2000.
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Due to the characteristics of this supernova-proximity and early detection, the scientific world hastened to observe it and collect data to launch new investigations. “Data collection is critical right now,” said Yvette Kendes, an astrophysicist at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics and the Smithsonian who has helped organize many radio observatory studies of the supernova.
Supernova: what is this phenomenon about
It is a Type II supernova, which occurs when a massive star runs out of fuel. As for dimensions, these stars are at least eight times the size of our Sun.
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this star cannot withstand the force of its own gravityTherefore, it collapses and becomes an extremely dense residue.
It then collapses into a black hole or neutron star, spewing debris and radiation into space.
The importance of studying supernovae is explained to us by Srinivas Kulkarni, an astronomer at the California Institute of Technology and principal investigator at the Zwicky Transient Facility in California: “It’s taken astronomers 50 or 60 years to understand the death of these massive stars, Because it is the gateway to the formation of neutron stars and black holes”.
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Why the discovery of supernova SN 2023ixf is important
search sn 2023ixf important because the combination of its close location and its early detection, which occurred before the supernova reached its maximum luminosity, will allow a more detailed observation of all phases of its growth, decay and In fact.
Also, this is the second major supernova to occur in the galaxy M101 in recent years.
In 2011, scientists observed a supernova that is produced when a stellar corpse known as a white dwarf steals so much material from a companion star that the thief becomes unstable and explodes.
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There are two major families of supernovae, Type I and Type II. With this discovery, one of each can be seen in this galaxy.
M101 is visible in the sky near the tip of the handle in the constellation Ursa Major. The supernova is already visible with backyard telescopes and is expected to remain bright for months.
The supernova can be seen with any backyard telescope pointed toward the constellation Ursa Major. It will stay shiny for months.