Tldr: observing a star go boom makes me happy
I’ve always enjoyed astronomy. Not really hardcore though (maths is a tool, not fun enough to use in your freetime). And I had an el-cheapo telescope that was good enough to look at lunar craters or see the shape of the rings of saturn.
I always looked for some way to se other wonders like nebulae, galaxies and other deep sky objects. But I quickly realized that it required a level of effort AND money that would make all the gear be used a couple of times and then collect dust.
Couple that with the weather on the west-coastal part of Sweden which excludes 25% of the year from viewing due to our bright short nights during the summer and another 25-60% due to clouds, the investment in gear was really not an attractive proposition.
That changed in 2017 when Unistellar started their kickstarter for their “evscope”
Long story short, i went all in… after an emotional roller coaster it finally arrived in march 2020.
This is not a writeup or review (may come later), suffice to say that -after a rocky start- it performs as expected.
Yesterday i looked at my usual newsfeed and read there was a supernova in M61 (SN 2020 jfo) with a magnitude of 14.5.
You see the two bright spots (“stars”) in the right “arm” of the galaxy? The one on top is the supernova.
It is over 50 million light years from earth, so the progenitor star exploded when humans were rat-like rodents on earth.
It is a type II supernova so the remaining stellar corpse will probably be a neutron star (COOL) or a black hole (SUPER COOL)
And I can witness it “in real time”…
Happy, humbling, exciting experience*
*according to your nerdiness your mileage may vary…