Zooming in on the location of Nova Vul 1670 in the constellation of Vulpecula

This video sequence takes the viewer deep into a rich part of the northern Milky Way in the constellation of Vulpecula (The Fox), close to the more famous constellation of Cygnus (The Swan). This spot was the location of a bright star that appeared in 1670 and was recorded by many astronomers at that time.

New observations made with APEX and other telescopes have now revealed that the star that European astronomers saw was not a nova, but a much rarer, violent breed of stellar collision. It was spectacular enough to be easily seen with the naked eye during its first outburst, but the traces it left were so faint that very careful analysis using submillimetre telescopes was needed before the mystery could finally be unravelled more than 340 years later.


ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2/N. Risinger (skysurvey.org) Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin. Music: Johan B. Monell (www.johanmonell.com)

About the Video

Release date:23 March 2015, 17:00
Related releases:eso1511
Duration:50 s
Frame rate:30 fps

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