Amateur Astronomer Dave Grennan has stars in his eyes after making a supernova discovery from his garden shed in Raheny.
It is believed the giant star, bigger than the sun, exploded almost 300 million years ago, but its light is only reaching us now. Grennan has been searching for this supernova for two years, and now that it has arrived, he is finding it all rather overwhelming.
This most recently identified supernova has been called 2010 IK. It is causing great excitement in the astronomy community because it is thought to be different to other supernovae. Grennan hopes it will answer some very important questions as supernovae are the instruments astronomers use to measure the age of the universe and to figure out where it is going to end up.
Dave Moore from Astronomy Ireland is very excited about the latest discovery saying
This is probably the biggest object that’s ever been found by any Irish person ever in the universe.
The supernova will remain visible over the next 300 days and experts say its light is a million, million times brighter than our own sun. Professional astronomers around the world will now be training their telescopes on the latest addition to the supernova stable. Who knows what secrets of the Universe Dave Grennan's discovery will uncover?
An RTÉ News report by Eimear Lowe broadcast on 6 October 2010.