Supernova M 82 discovery and a little reflected glory!

Just a brief personal post. The night before last at about 7.30 in the evening I received a borderline hysterical phone call from my daughter (not a disaster), but some very exciting news. Her boyfriend, Ben, had just texted her from the university observatory to say they thought they had discovered a new supernova. At the time the undergrads were waiting for their course supervisor Dr Steve Fossey to check what they’d found.

supernova M 82
The supernova in M 82
Credit: UCL/University of London Observatory/Steve Fossey/Ben Cooke/Guy Pollack/Matthew Wilde/Thomas Wright

And, heyho – today it has been confirmed by the International Astronomical Union as a new supernova. Direct quote from Ben via my daughter, “Supernova excitement is increasing. I’m gunna try and call it the ben supernova.” Hey Ben, how about the ‘Blaise supernova’ after your girlfriend??

More pics and detailed info is available here, UCL undergraduates, or from the BBC Supernova. And further interesting commentary at fellow blogger in the dark.

The students are extremely excited not least by all the press interest and an appearance on BBC London evening news! Congratulations to them all including their patient course tutors.

Author: agnesashe

Artisan, blogger and passionate East Anglian working from home.

11 thoughts on “Supernova M 82 discovery and a little reflected glory!”

    1. Well, I know I’m a bit biased, but I think it would be a good choice also after Blaise Pascal. Apparently, the supernova is just going to be known by a number so they’ve been told. I’ve just watched them on BBC London local news and the students seemed quite overwhelmed by it all. They also said over the next few weeks as it burns brighter you will be able to see it with binoculars.

      1. You’re welcome. I think it’s good to broadcast positive news and they’ve all been so excited by this. Let’s hope it brightens enough so any binoculars trained on M82 will be able to pick it out.

  1. What an amazing start to their journey into astronomy – I read the BBC link you provided and was even overwhelmed by that. The idea that the light is coming from a star that burned out many millions of years ago is too much for me to fathom.

  2. Superblaise? Blaisenoser? Not sure you would name something after yourself, especially with a bird like Superblaise.

  3. I learned about this post through a comment by Frivolous Monsters. WOW! How excited everyone must be. Great work, and congratulations, to Ben and everyone involved!

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