By pointing his new 40-centimeter-wide telescope to the Constellation Of The Sculptor, on September 20th, 2016, Victor Buso, an Argentinan amateur astronomer, observed, before anyone else in the world, the birth of a supernova.
South of the center of the spiral galaxy NGC 613, about 65 million light-years away from Earth, a new object, initially very dim, appeared to Victor Buso.
Intrigued and not believing his eyes, Victor Buso observed that the object’s brightness increased and, within 30 minutes, it was by three times brighter.
He alerted a scientific team from the Institute of Astrophysics La Plata (IALP) in Argentina which quickly looked at the amazing object Victor Buso discovered.
The astronomers realized what the amateur astronomer had witnessed (and recorded, by chance) was absolutely new and after thoroughly analyzing the images they concluded that what had Victor Buso discovered was the explosion of a star – the birth of a Supernova.
A massive flash of light
“For the first time, this lucky discovery has allowed astronomers to test the validity of their models,” said Federico García of the Argentine Institute Of Radio Astronomy.
These theoretical models predict that the initial dramatic increase in the luminosity of a supernova corresponds to the moment when the blast wave of the explosion emerges from the surface of the star, after passing through the interior of the star and where, at the same time, a huge amount of light is suddenly released as a massive flash of light.
Codenamed SN 2016gkg, the Victor Buso’s supernova discovery has proven the models true. In other words, the models do not require any modification to reproduce such an event.
At a time when ultra-sophisticated devices scan the sky constantly, a passionate amateur astronomer observed the birth of a supernova with only a small telescope, making a major discovery for the astrophysics world.
On the other hand, we can consider Victor Buso one of the luckiest men alive because to observe the birth of a supernova has odds of about one in a hundred million.