Supernova 2014J (red circle and arrow) and the starburst galaxy M82 (Photo: NASA/Swift/P. Brown, TAMU)
Supernova 2014J in M82: Left image is pre-supernova, Right image is post-supernova (Photo: UCL/University of London Observatory/Steve Fossey/Ben Cooke/Guy Pollack/Matthew Wilde/Thomas Wright)
Finder chart for SN 2014J. On left is a star chart for a one-degree field of view including both M81 and M82, while on the far right is a NASA astrophoto of the same region (Image: B. Dodson)
Finder chart for M81/82. If you extend the first arrow linking the stars of the bowl of the Big Dipper as indicated by the second arrow (same angle, same distance), M81 will be visible through binoculars and small telescopes set to low (about 15-20) magnification (Image: B. Dodson)
Chart of the Big Dipper area including M81 and M82. If you extend the first arrow linking the stars of the bowl of the Big Dipper as indicated by the second arrow (same angle, same distance), M81 will be visible slightly north of its end (Image: B. Dodson)
A cloudy night in London led to the discovery of the 21st Century's brightest supernova to date. The new supernova 2014J, the brightest since 1993, is located in the galaxy M82. This Type-Ia supernova has just reached its peak brightness of magnitude 10.6. M82 lies at a distance of only about 12 million light years, which explains the brightness of 2014J in our skies. 2014J is bright enough to be seen in small telescopes or perhaps in (very) large binoculars. We'll tell you how to find it.
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