Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

An extremely lucky amateur astronomer accidentally witnessed the birth of a supernova

A self-taught astronomer has won the cosmic lottery. Argentine locksmith Victor Buso, 58, was photographing the stars from his Rosario rooftop when he witnessed what no scientist had ever seen before: the birth of a supernova. Until then, the burst of light that shines before a star explodes had only been observed in computer models, Nature reports.

The sighting was many years in the making for Buso, who began building telescopes out of tin cans, Play-Doh, and magnifying glasses as early as age 11. "In many moments you search and ask yourself, why do I do this?" Buso told The Washington Post. It "all clicked" that night, he says.

You can see the supernova as it emerges in the time-lapse gif below. It's hard to spot, but it appears as a growing black dot beneath the big galaxy. Christina Colizza

Image removed.(Víctor Buso and Gastón Folatelli)