back to article Baby supernova spotted, just three hours old and a real cutie

In the kind of observational serendipity that astro-boffins live for: spotting the explosion of a supernova mere hours after the explosion's light started reaching Earth. The catch, made in 2013 by the venerable Samuel Oschin 48-inch telescope as part of the Palomar Transient Factory Survey, is the “youngest” supernova …

  1. redpawn Silver badge

    The watched star...

    never supernovas. That last bit of fuel lasts a very very long time if a star is observed. Its like waiting up for Santa Claus. He doesn't come until you fall asleep.

    I am certain that if we could convince all the observatories to close for a few nights we would see at least one naked eye visible supernova in short order.

    1. Gio Ciampa

      Re: The watched star...

      Probably explains why Betelgeuse hasn't gone yet...

      ...I'll look in the opposite direction - if that'll help?

      1. tony2heads

        Re: The watched star...

        I think that Eta Carinae will blow up before Betelgeuse.

        Icon: supernova!!

  2. Aaiieeee


    When it comes to space related images I am never too sure what to expect/believe?

    I saw the title image and was fairly amazed at the resolution, considering the distance. Then I saw the second set of image and was like "oh yeah, it just a blob, thats more like it" and felt a little embarrassed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oh

      The title image is from a simulation -- if you do an image search you'll see some links to "NASA video of exploding star"...

    2. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Oh

      If you go to the Nature link, you'll see what boffins actually watch at...

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Oh

      I would have thought the real information is from spectra not visible to the human eye.

  3. creepy gecko

    I'm always happy...

    ...when these events happen a long long way from here.

    The universe is a dangerous place for mere mortals.

  4. agatum


    When I read this article I thought 'cool!'. What a silly thought considering the gazillion kelvins involved.

    1. Jan 0

      Re: Cool!

      Yeah, but cool is hot innit?

      Gazillions even in Réaumur? Innit?

      Meanwhile, yes let's have a meanwhile, Anders Celsius is appalled that you don't make those gazillions negative!

      Whatever, "we are stardust", more power to the supernovae, means more people.

  5. Mage Silver badge

    Good news for starships

    “it is likely that not even a single star that is within one year of explosion currently exists in our Galaxy”.

    So why are my starship insurance premiums so high?

    Wonderful boffinry! It's in another galaxy, far away and long ago.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Good news for starships

      So why are my starship insurance premiums so high?

      Seems there's a few unpaid speeding tickets on your ship....

      1. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: Good news for starships

        "Do you know how fast you were going past the inertial reference frame of that last solar system sir?"

  6. Richard Boyce

    Just like others?

    "...because it's a Type II, the most common type of supernova, it's a reasonable bet that other Type IIs do something similar."

    That seems to be uncomfortably close to circular reasoning. We need to get lucky a few more times.

    1. RichardB

      Re: Just like others?

      "We need to get lucky a few more times."

      Yeah... Reading the Reg... commenting on astrophysics. Good chance we need to get lucky.

  7. willi0000000

    it will be interesting to see if it winds up as a neutron star or a black hole . . . either way we (actually they) get to see that too.

    [ . . . but i do wonder at how much theory can be generated by so few data points in cosmology ]

    1. JCitizen

      Now you've done it.. willi0000000

      Just when I was visualizing what a giant blob of hot iron core would look like! Then you have to go on and bring me down to reality!

      1. Axman

        Re: Now you've done it.. willi0000000

        > a giant blob of hot iron core <

        The very definition of Ozzy Osbourne

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