Watch the biggest supernova in 10 years explode tonight on this free telescope livestream


A newly discovered supernova can be watched as it develops in real-time, online and for free.

This particular galaxy and supernova can be difficult to view in the night sky without the right conditions or telescope, however. Luckily, the Virtual Telescope Project will livestream the cosmic explosion on its website and YouTube channel as it develops via its power robotic telescopes based in Rome, Italy. The online event will kick off at 6:30 p.m. EDT (2230 GMT) on Friday, May 26. Note that this event is weather dependent and could be delayed or cancelled due to poor conditions.

Long Island, New York-based astrophotographer Steven Bellavia produced this composite animation of the Pinwheel Galaxy using an image taken on April 21 and comparing it to another image taken on May 21, which clearly shows the supernova appearing. (Image credit: Steven Bellavia)

The supernova, designated SN 2023ixf, is one of the largest and brightest seen for a decade. The exploding star was first spotted in an image taken by experienced supernova hunter Koichi Itagaki, from Yamagata, Japan, on Friday, May 19, 2023. This initial observation was followed up by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) telescopes in California, which confirmed the discovery on Saturday (May 20). 

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