- A Distant Star Just Exploded, Went Nova And is Visible from Earth Right Now
Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Nakamura was lucky enough to witness the aftermath of a star exploding some 10,000 light years from Earth using only his trusty telescope. Nakamura observed the stellar explosion on March 18, 2021 using his 135-millimeter lens and a 15-second exposure.
He reported the magnitude-9.6 glow to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), which deployed a series of powerful telescopes to make observations which confirmed that it was indeed a classical nova, which they dubbed V1405 Cas.
A classical nova is a nuclear explosion on the surface of a white dwarf star which is part of a binary pair of ageing, dying stars. These explosions usually last approximately 12 hours.