SCOTT SIMON, host: The Big Dipper has a shiny new sequin on its handle, it's a supernova, the magnificent last hurrah of a star. This weekend is a rare opportunity for amateurs to see a supernova from Earth. People all over the country will be able to catch a glimpse of the fireball from their backyards, as it reaches peak brightness over the next few nights.
Peter Nugent is an astronomer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, joins us from a studio there.
Dr. Nugent, thanks for being with us.