Ohio State University astronomers have concluded that there's a probability of almost 100 percent that a star will go supernova in the Milky Way during the next 50 years. The explosion, they said, will be visible from Earth.
This study suggests that they have a solid chance of doing something that's never been done before: detect a supernova fast enough to witness what happens at the very beginning of a star's demise. A massive star "goes supernova" at the moment when it's used up all its nuclear fuel and its core collapses, just before it explodes violently and throws off most of its mass into space.
I know, I cheered on my chair too when I read about this in EurukAlert. Then my happiness imploded when I read about the odds of it being visible to the naked eye: only 20 to 50 percent. If you want to have the highest probabilities of seeing it you will have to move somewhere in the southern hemisphere, as you can see more of the Milky Way there. A supernovagasm interruptus.
This will be crucial to understanding these incredible events. According to one of the researchers, doctoral student Scott Adams, "every few days, we have the chance to observe supernovae happening outside of our galaxy. But there's only so much you can learn from those, whereas a galactic supernova would show us so much more. Our neutrino detectors and gravitational wave detectors are only sensitive enough to take measurements inside our galaxy, where we believe that a supernova happens only once or twice a century."
Here you have Adams explaining it in detail: