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News Release Archive:

News Release 857 of 964

May 19, 1994 12:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1994-20

Hubble Observes the Supernova in the Whirlpool Galaxy

May 19, 1994: The Hubble telescope has returned valuable new images of supernova 1994I in the inner regions of the "Whirlpool Galaxy," M51, located 20 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Canes Venatici. The arrow marks the supernova's location.

The supernova was discovered by amateur astronomers on April 2, 1994 and has been the target of investigations by astronomers using ground-based optical and radio telescopes. At its brightest, around April 10, the supernova was about 100 million times more luminous than the Sun. A supernova is a violent stellar explosion that destroys a massive star.

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Credit: Robert P. Kirshner/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA