New supernova spotted in nearby galaxy

New supernova spotted in nearby galaxy

By Ashley Yeager, 11:54 AM January 22, 2014

The galaxy M82 has given off a brilliant flash, which astronomers have confirmed as a type Ia supernova.

M82, or the Cigar galaxy, is 12 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. Because the galaxy is relatively close and the stellar explosion was spotted quickly, follow-up observations may help astronomers better understand the characteristics of type Ia supernovas.

Astronomers use this type of stellar explosion to measure the distance to galaxies much farther away and to...

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