The big news going on in astronomy right now is this new supernova that just popped up in M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy. Of course, since it's about twelve million light years away, the event actually took place in the far distant past. It first got noticed on January 21, and its brightness is expected to peak on February 2 with enough juice to be seen through binoculars. It's the brightest, closest bloom in over twenty years! SN 2014J is classified as a type Ia supernova, formed from the death of a white dwarf.
I'll be looking for it off the rim of the Big Dipper in my telescope tonight, and everyone else in the northern hemisphere will have a good chance to see it too. Look due North and use the following pictures to go ahead and take a peek.