A false-color composite (HST/SIRTF) image of the supernova remnant nebula from SN 1604.
|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. 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 all the planets other than Venus, with apparent magnitude −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 it in Prague 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.
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.
See also 
- "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.
Further reading 
- 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.
- Indian Record for Kepler's Supernova: Evidence from Kashmir Valley - Article in Astronomical Notes,July2011,Vol.332,Issue 6.