Astronomers Have Spotted the Closest Supernova in Generation

The supernova flared up on August 23 in the Pinwheel Galaxy, just 21 million light-years from Earth. It’s the closest star explosion of its type observed since 1986. According to researchers they caught the supernova, named PTF 11kly, within hours of its explosion. PTF 11kly is getting brighter by the minute. The   supernova   was   discovered   using  the   Palomar   Transient    Factory    survey,   which employs a robotic telescope at Palomar Observatory in Southern California. It is a type of Ia supernova. These explosions are thought to occur when a dying star called a white dwarf exceeds its weight limit and goes boom. Researchers will continue their studies of this supernova over the next couple of weeks.