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Supernova in NGC 1559

Supernova in NGC 1559

R730/0102

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Credit

EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption

Supernova in galaxy NGC 1559. The supernova is the bright star just above the galaxy. It is known as SN 2005df. The supernova and galaxy are 50 million light years away in the constellation Reticulum. The supernova was discovered on 4 August 2005 by the amateur astronomer the Reverend Robert Evans. This supernova is of a type thought to be caused by the explosion of a white dwarf star as mass from a companion star destabilised the white dwarf star. For a few days, a supernova can outshine a galaxy. Image obtained with the FORS1 instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope.

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