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Víctor Buso’s home telescope captured birth of a supernova

Víctor Buso’s home telescope captured birth of a supernova

One September night in 2016, an amateur astronomer called Víctor Buso was trying out his new camera when a star exploded

Over the next half hour he took a series of images that captured the violent birth of a supernova, something that had eluded the finest minds and the most powerful telescopes on the planet for decades. Mr Buso’s observations have now been published in Nature, a leading scientific journal, as experts pick over the photographs to understand what makes  an existing star burst outwards in a giant flash of light.

Mr Buso, who lives in the city of Rosario, in central Argentina, pointed his telescope at a  distant spiral galaxy called NGC 613 because it happened to be overhead. For the first hour  or so, nothing happened. Then a bright light appeared, doubling in strength over the space  of 25 minutes. It was the first clear image of a supernova’s “shock breakout” phase. A team  of professional astronomers swiftly took up the case and watched the explosion as it cooled

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