Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spectacular death of a star

Some 240 million light-years from Earth, and thus about 240 million light years ago, a supermassive star (perhaps 150 times the mass of the Sun) exploded in a burst of energy whose brightness is startling to astronomers. The supernova in the constellation Perseus was not only huge but extraordinarily bright in the visible spectrum, leaving scientists scrambling to adjust their models for a new type of stellar death.

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