In the video below Peter Nugent, an astrophysicist from Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, explains just how to find and view the brightest supernova in decades, a star that exploded about 21 million light years away.
Nugent was the first person to spot the supernova. He said, "Observing PTF 11kly [as it has been named] unfold should be a wild ride. It is an instant cosmic classic."
This new supernova is a Type Ia supernova. A Type Ia supernova is a sub-category of supernovae that results from the violent explosion of a white dwarf star. According to The Daily Galaxy, "There are two leading scenarios for the intermediate step from stable white dwarf to supernova, both of which require a companion star. In the first possibility, a white dwarf swallows gas blowing from a neighboring giant star. In the second possibility, two white dwarfs collide and merge.
Watch Nugent's video below.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons