Starting this weekend, you will be able to see a cosmic phenomenon without the aid of a mountaintop telescope or highly politicized university grant. Researchers at the Palomar Observatory in Southern California found a white dwarf star about 1.4 times the mass of our sun at the beginnings of a supernova. It is located in the Pinwheel Galaxy only 21 million light years away--most supernovas are in galaxies 1 billion light years away--which means you will be able to see it with a good pair of binoculars or a small telescope. It will get brighter and brighter until September 9th. After the jump, a list of steps on how to see this really big ball of gas explode.
via the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory