Register for an account


Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.


Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

The Sciences

A New Tool for Finding Exploding Stars

The All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae is proof that small projects can produce a big payoff.

By Liz KruesiJune 10, 2015 3:35 PM
Remnants of the supernova Cassiopeia A. | NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/CXC/SAO


Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

Astronomers have a new tool to hunt the brightest and nearest exploding stars: ASAS-SN.

The two observatories of the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae scan the Northern and Southern hemispheres every night with six 5.5-inch telescopes (eight total by the end of the summer), taking photos of the sky and comparing successive images to find changes, such as supernovas.

Off-the-shelf equipment helps keep the price tag low for ASAS-SN’s hardware. | Mark Elphick/Los Cumbres Observatory

At $100,000 per pair of telescopes, a bargain in professional astronomy, ASAS-SN proves that small projects can do big science: Since coming online in 2013, it has already found more than 100 supernovas, almost half of the total number of similar discoveries.

[This article originally appeared in print as "ASAS-SN Hunts Exploding Stars."]

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 50%


Already a subscriber? Register or Log In