Closest Supernova in a Decade Captured in Stunning Image SN 2023ixf

SN 2023ixf: Stunning image of the closest supernova in 10 years

The Gemini Observatory in Hawaii has captured stunning images of the closest supernova to Earth in almost 10 years, SN 2023ixf. The explosion appears as a bright blue star on the lower left side of the Pinwheel Galaxy, which can be seen for months to come.

SN 2023ixf was discovered on May 19 by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki. It is a core-collapse supernova, which occurs when a star around 8 to 10 times the mass of our Sun exhausts its nuclear fuel and collapses, leaving behind a black hole or a neutron star.

The explosion is only 21 million light-years away, making it visible with amateur technology and potentially becoming even brighter in the coming weeks. This is the first time in nearly a decade that a supernova has been seen at such a small distance.

During a core-collapse supernova, the outer core of the star collapses on itself at a speed of 250 km/h, or 23% of the speed of light. This releases as much energy in 10 seconds as our Sun did during its entire lifespan of 10 billion years.

SN 2023ixf is being observed and examined particularly well due to its comparatively small distance. There have been over 80 such supernovae discovered by Itagaki’s observatory near Yamagata, with SN 2023ixf standing out as one of the brightest and closest to Earth.

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