Astronomers glimpse exploded star

In another life, many years ago, a much younger and thinner me began a degree in Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. What with one thing and another, that didn’t quite work out as planned, and I left the course after the first year. Although time has passed[1], I still take an interest in astronomy, so I was moderately excited by this BBC report about a star that appears to be on the way to becoming a supernova.

There hasn’t been a supernova detected in our galaxy since the invention of the telescope[2], so if RS Ophiuchi does go supernova, it will be an unprecedented opportunity to investigate one of the most extreme phenomena in the universe. Of course, it probably won’t happen for another 10,000 years…

[1] After counting on fingers, toes and other bits, I make that a quite shocking 24 years
[2] Astronomers find this quite frustrating