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VIDEO: Italians dazzled by star explosion

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VIDEO: Italians dazzled by star explosion
Screengrab: YouTube
11:13 CEST+02:00
Stargazers in Italy were treated to an unusual spectacle on Monday night when a newly discovered star explosion shone at maximum brightness, enough to be visible to the naked eye.

The star explosion was discovered last Wednesday by Japanese amateur astronomer Koichi Itagaki while observing the Delphinus (Dolphin) constellation almost 97 light years from earth, space.com reported. 

On Monday at around 10.00pm the explosion was finally bright enough to be visible to the naked eye for a duration of around one hour, according to media reports. 

Since the discovery, the phenomenon has been followed closely on camera by the Italian group the Virtual Telescope Project in Ceccano in the central Italian region of Lazio.

“It’s a Nova (a Nuclear explosion in a white dwarf star)”, astrophysicist Gianluca Masi told regional daily La Gazzetta del Sud, “and it shines at a magnitude of 4-4.5, meaning it’s visible to the naked eye, as long as you observe it from outside of the city.”

“Phenomenons of this kind help us to study mechanisms which are otherwise impossible to see, like those which allow us to understand a stellar explosion in detail,” Masi told Space.com.

See below for a video of the phenomenon and live coverage in English from Gianluca Masi.

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