Saturday August 12, 2017

A super-supernova could happen in our neighborhood

Located in the direction of the constellation Dorado in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the resplendent object known as NGC 2060 is the aftermath of a supernova. These powerful explosions serve as the death knell for massive stars, blasting heated matter out into surrounding space at great speed.

Located in the direction of the constellation Dorado in the Large Magellanic Cloud, the resplendent object known as NGC 2060 is the aftermath of a supernova. These powerful explosions serve as the death knell for massive stars, blasting heated matter out into surrounding space at great speed. (ESO)

Listen 7:47

Astronomers have discovered a new kind of super-luminous supernova that can be a hundred times as bright as an ordinary supernova - which are already some of the brightest lights in the universe.

These super bright exploding stars were thought to only occur in dwarf galaxies, which are mostly made of light elements like hydrogen and helium.  But this one was found in a large spiral galaxy similar to our our own.

This suggests that one of these super-bright supernovae might happen in our galactic neighborhood.  If that were to happen, it would be brighter than the full moon, and easily visible in daylight. 

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