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Supernova 1604

  • Kerry Stargazer
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Supernova 1604 was created by Kerry Stargazer

On this day in 1604 German astronomer Johannes Kepler observed an exceptionally bright star which had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus. Better known today as Kepler's Star:

As of 2005, it is the last supernova to have been observed in our own galaxy, occurring no greater than 6 kiloparsecs or about 20,000 light-years from Earth. Visible to the naked eye, it was brighter at its peak than any other star in the night sky, and all the planets (other than Venus), with apparent magnitude −2.5.
Chairman of Kerry Astronomy Club.
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16 years 3 months ago #34299

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Replied by Keith g on topic Re:

Yeah, the holy grail of variable star astronomy, many have already surmised that we are well overdue for another supernova in our milkyway galaxy, taking into account that it is estimated that a supernova event would occur on a scale of a conservative 2 per century.

Would'nt it be fantastic if one of much brilliance appeared in the night sky - image what it would do for the promotion of astronomy, on a par to Comet Hale-Bopp no doubt.

If the world took notice of SN1987A - which peaked at visual magnitude 3, with it's distance estimated at 169,000 light years, imagine the publicity. Funny, but my own personal preference concerning astronomy is to see a supernova, and a bright one if that.

The one in 1604 was actually catalouged to occur on October 9th, but cloudy weather prevented kepler's observation until the 18th in Prague I believe!

And here's another twist, bright Jupiter and Mars wer very nearby - Imagine what a photo the would make!

If anyone is interested, SNEWS - the Supernova Early warning system is in operation, by detecting neutrinos from a supernova blast up to a few hours before visible light appears. Sign up if you will, who knows, maybe you'll get that e-mail tonight !

snews.bnl.gov/

Keith..
If a telescope can fit into your backyard it's too small. If you can't move it, it's too big." -- John Dobson
16 years 3 months ago #34331

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