September 8

If you can locate the Big Dipper (Ursa Major), and you have a good pair of binoculars or small telescope, you’ll be able to observe a supernova along with amateur and professional astronomers all over the world.

The best time for viewing is right after sunset, before the moon comes up and washes out the sky with its reflected light.

Here’s a link to an excellent one-and-a-half-minute YouTube video by Berkeley Lab scientist Peter Nugent that will help you spot and view the supernova:   http://bit.ly/qilPZ9

For additional information and images, visit the USA TODAY article at http://usat.ly/okjuOS.  (Click on the “BEFORE” and “AFTER” buttons in the USA TODAY interactive image.)

Image of The Pinwheel Galaxy (where the supernova is occurring) courtesy of Reuters and The Guardian.

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