Titled Supernova of a Generation, it will be visible tonight, fading by the end of this week…

What may make this the most viewed supernova (requiring binoculars) is its location… It’s near a well known astronomical landmark.

Titled SN 2011fe, it is located in the constellation Ursa Major, better known as the Big Dipper. “The easiest way to find it is to take the last two stars in the handle of the Big Dipper, form an equilateral triangle heading north and bang, you’ll find the Pinwheel Galaxy,”

(A pair of 80 mm binoculars suffice to view the display, but a telescope with a lens measuring greater than three inches would be better.)

By Friday, the supernova could hit magnitude 10, still below the 6.5-magnitude threshold to be seen with the naked eye.

The last one occurring was in 1986; prior to that 1972…

In 1604 one burned so bright it was visible during daylight hours.