A giant star has just exploded as a supernova and is beginning to be visible in the sky

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO; Optical: Detlef Hartmann; Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Excitement is growing among astronomers as it is the closest supernova explosion in nearly a decade.

The universe contains a staggering 200 trillion trillion stars. There are at least 100 billion stars within our Milky Way galaxy, while the entire universe includes more than 100 billion galaxies.

When a star explodes, the ensuing explosion, known as a supernova, is the largest explosion ever in space. According to NASA, a supernova occurs when there is a change in the core or center of a star. The change can occur in two different ways, both of which result in a supernova. Just a few days ago, a supernova was detected near a spiral galaxy.

A snapshot of the supernova SN 2023ixf located near the spiral galaxy M101. This supernova was discovered by Japanese astronomer Koichi Itagaki and has been located in automated images taken by the Zwicky Transit Facility, a large-field astronomical survey of the skies over California.

According to NASA, SN 2023ixf is a type II supernova, which occurs when a star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses. Although a supernova only occurs for a short period of time, it can tell scientists a lot about the universe. By studying supernovae, scientists have also shed light on the fact that we live in an ever-expanding universe.

Description of the NASA image After this nearby star exploded, humanity’s telescopes spun rapidly to detect it. The supernova, named SN 2023ixf, was discovered by Japanese astronomer Koichi Itagaki three days earlier and later located in automated images of the Zwicky Transit Facility two days earlier. SN 2023ixf occurred in the Pinwheel Galaxy M101, which, at about 21 million light-years away, makes it the closest supernova seen in the last five years, the second-closest supernova in the last 10 years, and the second-closest supernova. nearby found. in M101 in the last 15 years.

Already rapid follow-up observations indicate that SN 2023ixf is a type II supernova, an explosion that occurs after a massive star runs out of nuclear fuel and collapses. The featured image shows a home spiral galaxy two days ago with the supernova highlighted, while the inverted image shows the same galaxy a month ago. SN 2023ixf is likely to light up and remain visible to telescopes for several months. Studying a nearby young Type II supernova could provide new clues about massive stars and how they explode.