Hubble spots possible third supernova exploding in remote galaxy

Can you spot a possible supernova going off in one of the numerous galaxies spread across this Hubble Space Telescope image?

One of the many galaxies in this Hubble Space Telescope image may host a supernova explosion, the third spotted in the same galaxy in just a few years. Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS

Most of the galaxies are part of a cluster known as RXC J0949+1707. At the upper right is a face-on barred spiral where two supernovas – SN Eleanor and SN Alexander – were spotted in images taken in 2011. Both have now faded from view, but a possible third supernova imaged a few years later, dubbed SN Antikythera, is visible to the lower right of the galaxy. If it eventually fades from view like the others, astronomers will be more confident it is, in fact, a supernova.

This image was taken as part of the Reionization Lensing Cluster Survey – RELICS – in which Hubble observed 41 massive galaxy clusters to identify suitable targets for the James Webb Space Telescope. Here’s a closeup of the galaxy in question:

Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, RELICS