Supernova in NGC 1559

The European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT), in northern Chile, takes some amazing pictures. Here is a one taken on the 6th August 2005 showing the barred-spiral galaxy NGC 1559. This galaxy is about seven times smaller than our galaxy - the Milky Way - and is about 50 million light years away in the southern constellation of Reticulum (near the Large Magellanic Cloud).

NGC 1559 with SN2005DF
Spiral galaxy NGC 1559 showing SN2005DF. Image taken by the ESO's Very Large Telescope. CREDIT: ESO/VLT
Click on the picture above for the full-sized ESO version. The image was taken as part of a target-of-opportunity observation to catch a new supernova named 2005DF which I've labelled for you. The supernova had been found two days earlier by an amateur astronomer based in Australia, so the VLT was mobilised to observe it too. Astronomy is one of the few areas of science where amateurs can make new discoveries.

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Sunday 28th Aug 2005 (10:09 UTC) | Permalink
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