|Observation data (Epoch J2000)|
|Supernova type||Ia |
|Host galaxy||Milky Way|
|Right ascension||17h 30m 42s|
|Discovery date||October 9, 1604|
|Peak magnitude (V)||−2.25 to −2.5|
|Distance||20,000 light-years (6.1 kpc)|
|Notable features||Latest observed supernova
in our galaxy.
visibility for 18 months.
Supernova 1604, also known as Kepler's Supernova, Kepler's Nova or Kepler's Star, was a supernova that occurred in the Milky Way, in the constellation Ophiuchus. Appearing in 1604, it is the most recent supernova to have been unquestionably observed by the naked eye in our own galaxy, occurring no farther than 6 kiloparsecs or about 20,000 light-years from Earth.
Visible to the naked eye, Kepler's Star was brighter at its peak than any other star in the night sky, and brighter than all the planets other than Venus, with an apparent magnitude of −2.5. It was visible during the day for over three weeks.
The first recorded observation was in northern Italy on October 9, 1604. Johannes Kepler began observing the luminous display while working at the imperial court in Prague for Emperor Rudolf II on October 17. It was subsequently named after him because his observations tracked the object for an entire year and because of his book on the subject, entitled De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii ("On the new star in Ophiuchus's foot", Prague 1606).
It was the second supernova to be observed in a generation (after SN 1572 seen by Tycho Brahe in Cassiopeia). No further supernovae have since been observed with certainty in the Milky Way, though many others outside our galaxy have been seen since S Andromedae and SN 1987A in the Large Magellanic Cloud was visible to the naked eye.
Present day astronomical evidence exists for a Milky Way supernova whose signal would have reached Earth ca 1680 (Cassiopeia A), and another object whose light should have arrived ca 1870. However there is no historical record of either having been detected at the time, by the unaided human eye.
- "Chandra X-Ray Observatory". Kepler's Supernova Remnant: A Star's Death Comes to Life. Retrieved 2006-01-16.
- L. Colombe, Discorso, Nel quale si dimostra, che la nuova Stella apparita l'Octobre passato 1604 nel Sagittario... (Florence, n.d.).
- "Bill Blair's Kepler's Supernova Remnant Page". Retrieved October 7, 2009.
- "Chandra X-Ray Observatory". Discovery of Most Recent Supernova in Our Galaxy, May 14, 2008. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
- Blair, William P.; Long, Knox S.; Vancura, Olaf (1991). "A detailed optical study of Kepler's supernova remnant". Astrophysical Journal 366: 484–494. Bibcode:1991ApJ...366..484B. doi:10.1086/169583.
- Sule, A.; et al. (2011). "Indian Record for Kepler's Supernova: Evidence from Kashmir Valley". Astronomische Nachrichten 332 (6): 655–657. doi:10.1002/asna.201011555.
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