The supernova is one of the closest to be observed in recent decades.
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According to a January 22 news release from the University of London Observatory, students and staff have discovered one of the closest supernova to Earth in the last few decades. On January 21 at 19:20 GMT, a team of students – Ben Cooke, Tom Wright, Matthew Wilde and Guy Pollack – assisted by Dr. Steve Fossey, observed the exploding star in nearby galaxy Messier 82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy.
The accidental discovery occurred during a 10-minute telescope workshop for undergraduate students that led to a global clamber to acquire confirming images and spectra of a supernova in one of the most unusual and interesting of our neighboring galaxies.