The Argentine stargazer captured the star's death in series of nearly 100 images
Smartt/Queen’s University Belfast, NASA, Hubble/ESA, Robert Gendler
An amateur astronomer caught a supernova on camera during the explosion’s earliest moments, giving physicists a glimpse of a long-sought phase of stellar death.
Víctor Buso spotted the supernova from his rooftop observatory in Rosario, Argentina, on September 20, 2016, when he aimed his telescope straight overhead at spiral galaxy NGC 613 to test a new camera. To avoid letting in too much light from the city sky — Rosario is a city of about 1.2 million people — he took a series of about 100 images that were each exposed for 20 seconds, spanning about an hour and a half.
Over the last half-hour of Buso’s observations, the supernova appeared and then doubled in brightness. In 2013, astronomers spotted a supernova within hours of its explosion (SN Online: 2/13/17), but this is one of the