The Nightly News
An Astronomy blog by Joe Bauman, Salt Lake City
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  1. Blog 23: Fireworks
    27 Jul, 2017
    Blog 23: Fireworks
    The Fireworks Galaxy, scientific designation NGC 6946, has that nickname for a good reason: more supernovas have popped off there than in any other known island universe. Counting the latest, the supernova discovered by Patrick Wiggins at 8:28 p.m. May 13, a total of 10 of these largest known explosions have occurred in the galaxy since 1917. The runner-up is the galaxy M-61, a large example in the Virgo Cluster, which has generated seven since 1926. An ordinary galaxy like ours, which is at
  2. Blog 16: Patrick Wiggins’ super supernova
    17 May, 2017
    Blog 16: Patrick Wiggins’ super supernova
    On Saturday night my friend Patrick Wiggins discovered his third supernova, and this one’s a treasure. It is a Type II supernova in the famous Fireworks Galaxy. Let's define the term. A supernova is the catastrophic death explosion of a star, the largest blast known since the Big Bang. *** A Type I supernova happens when a white dwarf star sucks material away from a nearby star that is locked to it by gravity in a binary arrangement. Its mass grows so great that it blows up. *** A Type II

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