M82

Things are rocking right now in our own galactic neighborhood. Backyard telescope users already knew about the Cigar Galaxy, or M82, located in the Great Bear constellation, Ursa Major. Now it has two new cosmic secrets to explore. Two weeks ago a supernova—a giant exploding star—was discovered by British university students within the galaxy, which is…

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Something has lit up the Cigar Galaxy, astronomers report, and it looks like an exploding star. The increasing brilliance of the supernova has thrilled the stargazing community, potentially becoming a viewing target within reach of binoculars in the next few days. The brightening supernova appears nestled within the neighboring, edge-on spiral galaxy, Messier 82 (M82),…

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