18 Mar 2013

Amateur astronomer discovers supernova

1:13 pm on 18 March 2013

A South Canterbury amateur astronomer has discovered a supernova after a two year search.

Using his homemade observatory in Geraldine, Peter Aldous and a team of friends and helpers spotted the exploding star despite cloudy skies created by El Nino conditions.

He sent his findings to the Central Bureau of Astronomical Telegrams which confirmed the discovery as did fellow supernova hunter Stu Parker of North Canterbury.

Mr Aldous said the sun could be fitted into the supernova up to 400 times and when it exploded and died, it released astronomical amounts of nuclear energy.