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Galaxy NGC 2403 with SN54J in the upper left corner.

Long-standing Supernova Mystery Solved

Professors Roberta Humphreys and Kris Davidson and graduate student Michael Gordon in the School of Physics and Astronomy and their collaborator Schuyler Van Dyk at Caltech have solved the 63-year-old mystery of a supernova that wasn’t. More »

In 1954, a star in a nearby spiral galaxy NGC 2403, brightened by about 100 times. It was considered a supernova, the explosion, and annihilation of a giant star, and was named SN 1954J. Its eruption lasted about a year before it faded. But SN1954J was peculiar.

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