Three weeks after the discovery of SN 2023ixf, the closest supernova to Earth in nearly 10 years, the Gemini Observatory in Hawaii has captured a remarkable image of the starburst. This is returning “literally with a bang” from a seven-month break for repairs, explains the US research center NOIRLab, which operates the telescope. The image shows just over half of the colorful Pinwheel galaxy and the massive explosion as a particularly bright blue star at the lower left. The National Research Laboratory for Optical and Infrared Astronomy states that it will be visible for months to come.
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SN 2023ixf was discovered on May 19 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki. With his own observatory near Yamagata, he has already detected more than 80 such supernovae, NOIRLab explains. Among them, SN 2023ixf stands out, just 21 million light-years away. It’s been nearly ten years since a supernova was seen at such a small (by astronomical standards) distance. The starburst can also currently be observed using amateur technology and could get even brighter in the coming weeks. There are a lot of recordings For example on the photo platform Flickr.
SN 2023ixf is a so-called core collapse supernova, which occurs when a star about 8 to 10 times the mass of our sun that has used up its nuclear fuel collapses. What remains is a black hole or neutron star. NOIRLab shows that during such an explosion, the star’s outer core collapses in on itself at 250 million km/h, or 23 percent of the speed of light. In ten seconds, as much energy is released as our Sun has done in its entire 10 billion lifetime. It is said that thanks to the relatively small distance it can now be observed and well examined.
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