It’s not often that a new body appears in the night sky—aside from meteors and the occasionally comet, things tend to look pretty much the same. Now, astronomers predict that a pair of stars so close they’re basically touching will collide and create a so-called red nova, resulting in a bright explosion visible to the…
Drop a couple of M&M’s in a petri dish filled with water, point a Sony A7R M2 camera at the experiment capturing a 4K timelapse, and what you get is some remarkably beautiful footage of the colorful candy coating melting away. Without the ‘m’ stamped on each candy, you would almost assume this was footage from by a…
Last year, astronomers recorded the brightest supernova explosion ever seen. Follow up observations now suggest this cataclysmic event wasn’t a supernova at all, but rather, an extremely rare celestial phenomenon involving a supermassive black hole and a rather unfortunate star.
The star system Eta Carinae has puzzled astronomers for centuries because of its oddly variable brightness—as bright as a supernova explosion at one point in the 19th century. Now astronomers from the University of Arizona have determined that there were at least two earlier explosions in the star’s long history,…
Stars explode on a fairly regular basis, but they’re virtually impossible to predict. Now, for the first time ever, astronomers have captured an image of supernova they knew was coming. Here’s how they did it.
In early 2016, astronomers will be looking at a specific part of the sky, knowing with near certainty that a supernova will appear. How is it possible to predict such events? The answer has to do with an effect known as gravitational lensing.
We often think of stars as twinkling, harmless little points of light that fill our night sky with majesty. But stars can be dangerous too. When they come to the end of their lifespan, some stars explode fantastically as supernovae. So what would happen if one of those giant explosions happened nearby?
This is SNR E0519-69.0, an expanding shell of debris around a star that exploded in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy to the Milky Way. The red lines are the outer edges of the explosion (visible light) and the blue glow is the superhot gas (millions of degrees hot, in X-Ray).
A new supernova has been discovered in the bright Virgo galaxy M61. It was discovered Wednesday by Koichi Itagaki of Japan, and at a magnitude of 13.6, it could soon become visible in smaller telescopes. Today it was confirmed as a Type Ia-pec supernova. More to come as we learn more!
NASA has revealed spectacular, newly reprocessed images of four of the most amazing supernovas ever captured by a human science instrument—the Crab Nebula (top), Tycho, G292.0+1.8, and 3C58—to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Chandra observatory. I decided to go one step further and collect them all.
You're looking at the first ever 3-D model of a supernova entering into the initial phase of its cataclysmic death throes. This is part of a new computer simulation that's radically changing our notions of what happens inside stars just before they explode.
Our nearest galactic neighbor is the Large Magellanic Cloud. But despite its close proximity — about 160,000 light-years — astronomers are still finding new features to explore, including this stunning supernova remnant that appears to be sitting right beside a stellar nursery.
Earlier this year, astronomers detected one of the brightest explosions ever seen in space. Now, some seven months later, the unusual event has been confirmed as a gamma-ray burst — and it's changing the way we think about these cataclysmic explosions.
Check out the amazing new image that NASA just released of Cassiopeia A, the remains of a supernova that would have been visible from Earth 300 years ago. This new composite image was released to promote a new 3-D visualization tool that will allow more people to study Cas A.
On April 27, NASA’s Fermi and Swift satellites detected a record-setting burst from a dying star located in a nearby galaxy. Most likely the result of a massive supernova, it produced the highest-energy light ever detected by scientists.
Astronomers working at NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have captured the most detailed image yet taken of a Type Ia supernova. And this particular supernova is one that people observed all over the world, when it first happened.
Scientists working at the University of Warwick have identified an undocumented type of gamma-ray burst, the product of massive stars destroyed in a way previously unknown to astronomers.
Everyone, say hello to Type Iax, a new classification of supernova that astronomers are calling “the runt of the supernova litter.” But these celestial blasts are hardly subtle; they're a newly documented and surprisingly frequent subcategory of supernova in which helium-sucking white dwarfs survive the ensuing…
So apparently there are big burning things in the sky called stars. They are unstable, and I don't want to scare you, but they occasionally explode. When they explode, you don't want to be near them. But how far are you supposed to get away? It doesn't really matter, since if we're too close to any star there's…
Although every supernova has some things in common — a big boom, for example — there are plenty of different types. And different reasons why a star might go nova.