Irish astronomer discovers a supernova from his backyard in Dublin
By: IrishCentral Columnists | Published Wednesday, October 6, 2010, 12:30 PM | Updated Friday, September 9, 2011, 9:51 PM
Dave Grennan, an amateur astronomer has become the first Irish person to discover a supernova. The Dubliner made the discovery in the galaxy UGC while looking through photographs he had taken from his back garden.
After comparing photographs he took from a specific area of sky between August and September he noticed a tiny black dot that hadn't been there before. The explosion which caused the tiny black spot will outshine the combined light of billions of stars in the galaxy.
A supernova is a rare phenomenon which involves the explosion of most of the material contained in a star. The explosion results in an extremely bright object which emits vast amounts of energy. Mr Grennan spent the the last year surveying almost 3,000 galaxies before finding the supernova. In the last few years Mr Grennan also discovered two asteroids one of which he named 215016 Catherinegriffin, after his late mother.