Supernova 2014J in M82
M82, a relatively close galaxy, also known as the cigar galaxy has had a supernova eruption! This has the potential to be the brightest supernova for over a hundred years and has a lot of people in the astronomy community very excited…… Although it might look like just another star in the image, all the other stars visible are in the milky way galaxy, the supernova is a single star in another galaxy 11.4 million light years away
There are certain ‘types’ of supernova and this is a type 1a supernova meaning it is or rather was! a white dwarf star orbiting round a red giant, the immense gravity of the white dwarf, pulls matter from the red giant star and eventually has enough to reignite itself which causes the supernova explosion. As you can see in the image below (Which is not one of my best, it was blowing a gale and I only got an hour on target before it clouded over), the supernova is easily spotted and the star will briefly be the brightest thing in the galaxy, giving out more light in its brief 3 weeks or so than over its full lifetime!
The other galaxy in this image is M81 by the way, I do intend on getting more time on these objects as its nice to have the 2 different galaxy types in the same image.