Tech

This is what an exploding star looks like

Posted by
David Cornish
Published

Contrary to what that headline might lead you to believe, this story has nothing to do with another Kanye West Twitter meltdown.

The video below depicts an exploding sun - a supernova moment captured by the Kepler space telescope.

Kepler managed to spot not one, but two of these events happening in the same area of space, with the resulting debris and dust scattered across vast distances after the cores of two red supergiants rapidly collapsed and exploded. This is what they left behind.

The image was captured in data taken by the Kepler telescope back in 2011 - it's taken several years for an international team, led by astrophysics professor Peter Garnavich of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, to spot the explosions over 700 million lightyears away. Their research has only just been published.

"In order to see something that happens on timescales of minutes, like a shock breakout, you want to have a camera continuously monitoring the sky," Garnavich said in a statement. "You don't know when a supernova is going to go off, and Kepler's vigilance allowed us to be a witness as the explosion began."

Here's hoping humanity has moved off by the time our own sun reaches such an end. If it's anything like as dramatic as Kanye's explosions, we wouldn't want to be around for it.

[Via: CNet]

(Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/STScI/CXC/SAO)

Topics

Share this article

Author

David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

Related Posts