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Sean Liang

Location of Photo:

Sierra Remote Observatory at Auberry California USA (Remote Astronomy)

Date/Time of photo:

June, July 2023


Planewave 24" (0.61m) CDK; FLI-PL09000 CCD


A star in a distant galaxy, named the Pinwheel Galaxy or Messier 101, has just exploded in a supernova. It briefly lights up its corner of the universe, and in doing so, it becomes a beacon across space and time. This star has spent its life brewing elements in its fiery heart. When the star can't sustain itself anymore, it goes out with a bang, spreading the elements back to space. Elements that one day would form planets, asteroids, maybe even life itself. A supernova is the universe's way of saying there's a beginning even in an ending. In destruction, there's creation. It's a cosmic cycle of life and death, played out in the theater of the universe. And we, made of star-stuff, are privileged to be a part of this grand scheme, watching as the star fades, then bursts, and then lives on in a different form. How beautiful is that?