An amateur astronomer strikes gold when, for the first time, he was able to image the initial burst of optical light produced by a supernova millions of light years from Earth.
Victor Buso of Rosario, Argentina is a locksmith by trade and a self-taught astronomer.
On September 20, 2016, Mr. Buso was trying out a new camera he had purchased for his 41 cm telescope.
To test his camera he took a sequence of photographs of a spiral galaxy located some 67 million light years in the constellation Sculptor.
The sequence included photos of the galaxy before and after the supernova’s “shock breakout”.
This is when a shock wave explodes from the star’s core and quickly produces a bright light.
The supernova has been named SN 2016gkg.
Details of Buso’s discovery and of follow-up observations by professional astronomers have been published by journal Nature.