A new supernova (exploding star) has been discovered in the famous Whirlpool Galaxy, M51.
M51, is a galaxy found in the constellation of Canes Venatici, very near the star Alkaid in the handle of the of the Big Dipper. The discovery was made on June 2nd, 2011, by French astronomers and the supernova is reported to be around magnitude 14. I had taken an image of the Galaxy on May 24, and took another on June 4 to catch the event. In the animation above you can see the supernova flashing on and off as I cycle between the two images taken 11 days apart. The supernova is near the bottom center of the galaxy. The image was taken with my Hyperion Astrograph and an STL11000M camera. You can see a larger version of the image by clicking here.