Supernova, brightest in decades, in your backyard (video)

September 6, 2011

Supernova SN 2011FE in the Pinwheel Galaxy. (Joseph Brimacombe)

Did you see the supernova in your backyard this weekend?

If you forgot your binoculars and telescopes, there’s still time to catch the closest supernova to Earth in at least the past 25 years, which will reach its brightest display on Sept. 8.

The violently exploding white dwarf star, located in the Pinwheel Galaxy some 21 million light-years away, was discovered by a team of astronomers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.

While astronomers used a specialized survey telescope at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California to the supernova, even binoculars can catch a glimpse of this super-bright star.

(Learn more here about the equipment needed to spot a supernova, or get tips on how to see it here.)

Some captured footage of what the supernova looked like from Earth this weekend:

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