SN 1987A was a type II supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a dwarf galaxy satellite of the Milky Way. It occurred approximately 51. 4 kiloparsecs (168,000 light-years) from Earth and was the closest observed supernova since Kepler's Supernova, visible from earth in 1604. 1987A's light reached Earth on February 23, 1987, and as the earliest supernova discovered that year, was labeled "1987A". Its brightness peaked in May, with an apparent magnitude of about 3.