Possible and Suggested Historical Supernovae in the Galaxy

  • David A. GreenEmail author
  • F. Richard Stephenson
Living reference work entry


Various temporary stars recorded in history prior to the advent of the telescopic era have been proposed as possible supernovae in our Galaxy. Five of these stars – those first seen in the years AD 1006, 1054, 1181, 1572 and 1604 – remained visible for at least 6 months. These were recorded in detail in a variety of historical sources. All are well-established supernovae and their remnants have been confidently identified. Many further new stars have been recorded in East Asian history, some of which – ranging in date from the fourteenth century BC to AD 1592 – have been proposed as other possible sightings of supernovae. However, in most instances only a single brief record is extant, sometimes without any indication of the duration of visibility or a clear description of the celestial location. Here we consider these additional sightings, including those that have been suggested as supernovae.


Historical Record Supernova Remnant Ming Dynasty Galactic Latitude Official History 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cavendish LaboratoryUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsDurham UniversityDurhamUK

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