In December, 2014, astronomers spotted a supernova in the spiral galaxy NGC 4666. They gave it the temporary designation ASASSN-14lp. The spiral galaxy and the supernova are approximately 80 million light-years from Earth. The galaxy is also known as the Superwind Galaxy because its rapid star formation creates a superwind of outflowing gas.
Justin Ng in Singapore captured the images on this page of the spiral galaxy. You can see this Type Ia supernova marked by crosshairs in his image above, and, if you’ll compare with his image below, you’ll understand how astronomers discover supernovae!
This was the second-brightest supernova of 2014, although, with a magnitude of 11, it can only be seen through telescopes.
Thank you, Justin Ng.
Bottom line: Astronomers discovered a supernova in NGC 4666 in December, 2014. Justin Ng of Singapore captured an image of the supernova – which has a temporary designation ASASSN-14lp – on January 2, 2015.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.