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Supernova Spotted!

In May 2023, an astronomer discovered an exploding star in a distant galaxy!

Side by side images of a pinwheel galaxy in March 2022 and May 2023, before and after a supernova becomes visible.

David W. Hoskin, Ph.D.

Can you spot the difference between these two photos of the Pinwheel Galaxy? Supernova 2023ixf appeared in 2023.

Stars might look like little dots of light to us, but they do powerful things. On May 19, 2023, an astronomer named Koichi Itagaki looked through his telescope and discovered a supernova, which is an exploding star!

This type of supernova takes place when a massive star—a star that’s much bigger than our Sun—runs out of fuel to burn and collapses. This causes a big explosion—probably bigger than anything you can even imagine. As it explodes, the star becomes as bright as 100 billion stars! This brightness can last for weeks or months.

The supernova that Itagaki discovered, which scientists are calling Supernova 2023ixf, isn’t located in our own Milky Way Galaxy. It’s in the Pinwheel Galaxy, which is 21 million light-years from Earth. Amazingly, this means that the explosion took place 21 million years ago, and it has taken this long for the light to reach us! 

So, can you look up at the night sky and see the supernova? Well, no. People who have regular telescopes might be able to see a dot of light. A powerful telescope, however, has been able to capture a beautiful image of the Pinwheel Galaxy (which looks like a swirl of light) with the supernova casting its bright light outward. It’s shown at the top of this article!

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Fun Fact

NASA/JPL–Caltech

This video shows what an exploding star might look like if we could see it up close. The star’s gravity causes it to steal material away from another star before it explodes.

Scientists say there’s a supernova somewhere in the universe every 10 seconds!

The Women’s World Cup

Four images show soccer players during games and celebrating after games.

© Paparazzofamily/Dreamstime.com, © feelphoto/Shutterstock.com, Philippe Bouchard/AP Images

The World Cup brings together the best soccer players from around the world!

It’s almost time for one of the biggest sports events on the planet! The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup is a soccer (or football) event in which the world’s best soccer teams play to see who’s the very best. This year’s World Cup will take place from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.

Here’s a little more about it.

How often does the World Cup take place? 

There are two World Cups. The Men’s World Cup takes place every four years. It last took place in 2022. The Women’s World Cup also takes place every four years. It last took place in 2019.

Who is playing in the 2023 Women’s World Cup? 

Thirty-two countries will send their teams to the World Cup. These country’s teams are the best in the world.

Who will win? 

No one knows who will win, but some people believe the United States has the best chance. That’s because the U.S. team won the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and it’s still the best in the world. But you never know. Other favorites include England, Spain, and Germany.

How does it work? 

Teams are divided into groups A through H, with four teams in each group. 

First, each group’s teams play against each other. 

Then winners from each group will play against each other. 

Then the winners of these games will play against each other in the quarterfinals.

Those winners will play against each other in the semifinals.

The winners of the semifinals will play in the final for the championship!

Secrets of the Stars

A galaxy with many stars visible.

NASA Goddard

Stars are very far away. So, why do they shine so brightly in the sky? You can learn more about stars at Britannica School!

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Word of the Day

anticipation

Part of speech:

noun

Definition:

: a feeling of excitement about something that is going to happen

Definitions provided by
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These are some of the countries that will play in the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Can you find them?

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