Update as of May 26 at 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT): The live broadcast of Supernova 2023ixf has been rescheduled for Friday, May 26 at 6:30 PM EDT (2230 GMT) due to inclement weather.
Watch the newly discovered supernova as it develops in real-time, online and for free.
However, this particular galaxy and supernova is difficult to see in the night sky without the right conditions or binoculars. Fortunately, the Virtual Telescope Project will broadcast the cosmic explosion live on its website And YouTube channel It is generated by its energy robotic telescopes in Rome, Italy. The online event will begin at 6:30 PM EDT (2230 GMT) on Friday, May 26.
The supernova, named SN 2023ixf, is one of the biggest and brightest observed in a decade. The exploding star was first spotted on May 19, 2023 in an image taken by veteran supernova hunter Koichi Itagaki from Yamagata, Japan. This initial observation was confirmed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) telescopes in California. Discovery on Saturday (May 20).
SN 2023ixf’s proximity and brightness from its initial size have made the supernova a popular target for amateur astronomers with backyard telescopes, who can see it as a tiny point of light. This new supernova is located in the galaxy Messier 101 (or M101), also known as the Pinwheel Galaxy, which is home to a star known as the Big Dipper, a popular observational target for new astronomers.
Related: This new supernova is the closest to Earth in a decade. It is now visible in the night sky.
“Although we detect many supernova candidates every year, only one of them is visible with small telescopes. SN 2023ixf is one of them, just 20 million light-years away from us,” Italian astrophysicist and astronomer and founder of the Virtual Telescope Project, Gianluca Masi, wrote on its website. “Plus, its host galaxy, the spiral Messier 101, is one of the most beautiful cosmic islands out there, making the view even more precious and unique.”
Ever since it burst onto the scene, astronomers have been studying the supernova with sophisticated and out-of-this-world equipment, including the Hubble Space Telescope. The space telescope was announced live Its Twitter feed On Tuesday, May 22, Hubble was looking at a relatively close supernova.
Mr. Hubble Viewing Ext Star SN2023IXF with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS/CCD) for Eres Zimmerman. https://t.co/slQjAKMxI1 pic.twitter.com/NnWkjtNhpAMay 22, 2023
If you want to observe the supernova yourself, Space.com’s Skywatch columnist Joe Rao has some advice. “The pinwheel galaxy containing the new supernova is located near the border crossing Ursa major (Big Bear) from Boots the Herdsman,” Rao said. “When you see the Big Dipper, imagine a line extending from the two stars Alioth and Mizar on the handle. A similar distance beyond Mizar would place the line in the general vicinity of the M101. Experienced amateur astronomers familiar with observing M101 may see the supernova as a point of light in one of the spiral arms.”
Supernova SN 2023ixf will be visible in the Pinwheel Galaxy for months to come before fading away.
If you want to see supernova SN 2023ixf, our guides Best binoculars And Best binoculars A great place to start. Make sure you get the right binocular eyepiece! A low magnification, wide angle eyepiece should do the trick.
If you want to take photos of a supernova, the pinwheel galaxy, or the night sky in general, check out our guides The best cameras for astrophotography And Best lenses for astrophotography.
Author’s note: If you’ve taken a picture of SN 2023ixf and want to share it with Space.com’s readers, send your photo(s), comments, and your name and location to [email protected].