Supernova Blast in Superwind Galaxy Glows in Amateur Photo

Supernova in Superwind Galaxy
Astrophotographer Justin Ng took this image of the so-called Superwind galaxy NGC 4666 from Singapore on Jan. 2, 2015. (Image credit: Justin Ng)

This stunning image shows a bright supernova in the Superwind galaxy taken on Jan. 2 by a night sky photographer in Singapore. 

The supernova, called ASASSN-14lp, was discovered in early December and photographed here by veteran astrophotographer Justin Ng.

"This Type la supernova is located in the spiral galaxy, Superwind galaxy, in Virgo that is approximately 80 million light-years away from Earth," Ng wrote in an email to, adding the image is the result of a 2-hour exposure. Type Ia supernovas are generally thought to originate from white dwarf stars in a close binary system.

According to Ng, supernova ASASSN-14lp has been getting brighter since it's discovery and became the second brightest supernova of the year 2014 with an 11th magnitude on the reverse scale used by astronomers to measure the brightness of objects in space. On this scale, smaller numbers represent brighter objects. The dimmest objects visible to the human eye are about magnitude 6.5. [Supernova Photos: How Stars Die]

The Superwind galaxy NGC 4666 is a starburst galaxy where intense star formation is taking place. A combination of strong winds from massive stars and supernova explosions create a continuous flow of gas from the galaxy. 

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Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for She began writing and producing content for in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.