Astronomy Picture of the Day

A Nearby Supernova in Spiral Galaxy M100

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#85050 by @ 08.03.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
A Nearby Supernova in Spiral Galaxy M100

One of the nearer supernovas of recent years was discovered
last month in the bright nearby galaxy

The supernova, dubbed
SN 2006X,
is still near its maximum brightness and visible with a telescope
toward the constellation of Berenice's Hair
(Coma Berenices)

The supernova,
pictured above, has been identified as
Type Ia indicating that a
white dwarf star in the
picturesque spiral galaxy has gone over its
Chandrasekhar limit
and exploded.

Although hundreds of supernovas are now discovered each year by automated searches,
nearby supernova are rare and important because they frequently become bright enough to be studied by many telescopes and are near enough for their immediate surroundings to be spatially resolved.

2006X's host galaxy M100
resides in the
Virgo Cluster of Galaxies located about 50 million
light years from Earth.

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