A supernova, named SN 2023ixf, was reported to have been spotted by astronomers using the Liverpool Telescope. Located in the Pinwheel Galaxy, also known as Messier 101, this area of space is known for its spiral structure, and how it is relatively close to the Earth, at approximately 21 million light years away.
Its closeness allows people with regular telescopes to snap photos of astronomical sights for observations or new photos to hang in their homes. But with the discovery of the SN 2023ixf, experts are now encouraged to do additional follow-ups on the galaxy. The supernova was once a progenitor star that was identified in archival images over the last twenty years.
According to astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy, the supernova is also close to a cluster of stars that are so close together they cannot be separated. Additionally, people can easily see the supernova in the galaxy because of its magnitude. Sitting at 14th, this is just barely within the capacity of a home telescope to see under dark skies.
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble, CC BY 4.0