Supernovae sightings have been recorded throughout history although the distinction of true supernovae from novae is sometimes ambiguous. In some notable cases, observations of the supernova event have been preserved in some cultures but not in others. Examination of the historical record provides insight not only into the rate of supernova explosions in the Milky Way but also into the completeness of the historical reporting that survives.

Year Report Status
185 A.D. Chinese Identification in doubt (Chin and Huang 1994)
386 Chinese unknown
393 Chinese unknown
1006 China, Japan, Korea, Arab lands, Europe Identified with radio SNR
1054 China, Japan Crab Nebula
1181 China, Japan Possible identification with radio SNR 3C58
1572 Europe (Tycho Brahe), China, Japan Tycho's remnant
1604 Europe (Kepler), China, Japan, Korea Kepler's remnant

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