Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Supernova!

This evening I'm heading up to Mauna Kea for a really exciting chance to see a supernova with my own eyes!


Err...the “exploded-star giant-kaboom!” kind of supernova, not a bottle of one of my favorite flavors of Mountain Dew. This newly-discovered supernova is in the Whirlpool Galaxy, M51, which is just off the handle of the Big Dipper, so it's nice and visible from Hawai‘i this time of year. If I'm extremely lucky, I may even be able to get a picture of it, although the chances of that pretty low, realistically. Still, if I can manage to find it, I'll be sure to give you a description.

Here's a picture of the Whirlpool Galaxy from Hubble, by the way. This is one of the galaxies I used for inspiration in my picture I posted  two weeks ago, incidentally. You can judge for yourself how good my efforts to emulate it were.

Messier 51, the Whirlpool Galaxy, and companion elliptical galaxy NGC 5195.

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