This image of Supernova 2024gy was captured by Badlands Observatory (BO) on Jan. 30, 2024.  Supernova 2024gy is in NGC 4216, a spiral galaxy located somewhere (depending on source) between 40 to 55 million light years away.  The supernova was discovered on Jan. 4, 2024, by a Japanese amateur astronomer.  Thus, BOs image is about 3 1/2 weeks after discovery.  It is a stack of 87 images (60 seconds each at 100 gain).  The supernova's reported magnitude (brightness) on Jan. 5th was measured at 15.8, which then brightened to 12.5 on Jan 22.  In BO's Jan. 30 image, it appears to have dimmed slightly since then.  The light from supernova explosions doesn't last long.  It is amazing that a single supernova in a galaxy of hundreds of billions of stars can sometimes give off more light than the combined brightness of all the other stars in the galaxy.  In the case of this one, it appears to be slightly less ... but still almost as bright as the central core of the galaxy! Although the Big Bang wasn't actually a "bang" (i.e., an explosion from a central point), this supernova "was" a BIG bang!


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