Supernova in spiral galaxy M99

Supernova in spiral galaxy M99

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Caption: Optical CCD image of spiral galaxy M99 (NGC 4254), showing a new supernova, discovered in 1986, circled in yellow. The incredible brightness of a supernova (the explosion of a giant star) is dem- onstrated by the fact that the supernova is almost as bright as the two stars at upper & lower left of M99; these stars are foreground stars within our own galaxy, whereas M99 is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies some 50 million light years away. The picture was made with a CCD (charge-coupled device) camera mounted on a telescope at the Whipple Observatory, Arizona. A CCD is a type of light-sensitive silicon chip.

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Keywords: astronomy, ccd imagery, cosmology, galaxy, m99, ngc 4254, optical astronomy, science, spiral, spiral galaxy, star death, stellar, supernova and galaxy

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