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The Brightest Supernova Ever

Above: An artist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy. [More]

May 07, 2007

The BRIGHTEST STELLAR EXPLOSION EVER RECORDED has occurred in a nearby galaxy and a similar explosion may be ready to go off in our own galaxy. "This was a truly monstrous explosion, a hundred times more energetic than a typical supernova. That means the star that exploded might have been as massive as a star can get, about 150 times that of our sun. We've never seen that before." It is UNPRECEDENTED to find such a massive star and witness its death. "Of all exploding stars ever observed, this was the king. We were astonished to see how bright it got, and how long it lasted." The star apparently expelled a large amount of mass prior to exploding. This large mass loss is similar to that seen from Eta Carinae, a massive star in our galaxy, raising suspicion that Eta Carinae may be poised to explode as a supernova. Eta Carinae is only about 7,500 light years away in our own Milky Way galaxy. "We don't know for sure if Eta Carinae will explode soon, but we had better keep a close eye on it just in case. Eta Carinae's explosion COULD BE THE BEST STAR-SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF MODERN CIVILIZATION."


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