Starlink prevents observing the brightest supernova over the past 5 years

A supernova has recently exploded in the arm of the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101). Its fiery agony, according to astronomers, can be observed for several more months even with the help of amateur telescopes.

Location of supernova SN 2023ixf in galaxy M101

The supernova, now designated as SN 2023ixf, was first seen by Koichi Itagaki from Japan on May 19. Stargazers at the Zwicky Transient Facility Observatory in California have confirmed a space explosion.

“We still do not know the nature of how the stars are beating in death convulsions on the eve of the explosion. It is very difficult to catch a star on the eve of a supernova flare, because most of them are very far away. This supernova SN 2023ixf will teach us a lot,” commented Andy Howell, a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara and an astronomer at the Las Cumbres Observatory.

Features of a supernova explosion

Astronomers quickly determined that a space explosion was a Type II supernova, in which the core of a massive star suddenly collapsed when it ran out of fuel and could not resist its own gravity. The supernova’s home galaxy is relatively close – just 21 million light-years away. NASA claimed the explosion was “the closest supernova seen in the last five years”.

Because the supernova is relatively close and is young by cosmic standards, scientists are eager to study it, hoping that it can provide exciting new details about the evolution of massive stars and how they die.

Hatred to Starlink

Sky-watching astronomers also take the opportunity to complain that Elon Musk’s SpaceX satellites are clogging up the starry sky, which indicates an increasingly noticeable gap between the billionaire and the astronomical community. 

“Nothing like a piece of Elon Musk space junk to ruin a livestack of a supernova image,” David Fuller tweeted, sharing an image of the Flywheel Galaxy and a supernova in which the bright path of the Starlink satellite distorts the image.

Earlier we reported on how a supernova with an “incorrect” explosion was detected.

According to NASA

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