We Got to See This Supernova Explode Four Times Simultaneously

It's not every day we get to see a supernova, and a single exploding star split into four images is an absolute first. Here's how it happened. » 3/08/15 9:00am 3/08/15 9:00am

This Supernova Could Change Everything We Know About How Stars Explode

This is the aftermath of an exploding star (G299, by name) and it's undoubtedly beautiful. But what it also is is very, very strange — and it just might turn all that we know about how stars explode on its head. » 2/13/15 9:35am 2/13/15 9:35am

You Know About A Supernova. What About An "Unnova"?

The supernova is a well-publicized and frightening phenomenon. There's also a phenomenon known as an "unnova." You don't want it in your backyard any more than you want a supernova. » 9/19/14 6:20am 9/19/14 6:20am

Now We Know What Makes White Dwarf Stars Go Supernova

What makes a dead star explode? Scientists have long suspected a mechanism for making a white dwarf go supernova, but they weren't able to confirm it — until now. » 8/27/14 1:20pm 8/27/14 1:20pm

X-Rays From the Universe Are Simply Stunning

Chandra Has Been X-Raying the Universe for 15 Years

When the Chandra X-ray Observatory celebrates a launch anniversary, it goes big with exploding stars and rotating neutron stars. Today marks 15 years of precision X-ray investigations of stars, galaxies, black holes, neutron stars, and even dark energy. NASA celebrates with supernova and pulsars. » 7/23/14 9:40am 7/23/14 9:40am

This Stellar Fusion Game is Shockingly Addictive

Stars are colossal fusion reactors, burning hydrogen into helium. As the nuclei fuse lighter elements into heavier elements, massive amounts of energy are released. A new game sets you the task of nucleosynthesis, building hydrogen into iron, and it's surprisingly fun. » 4/17/14 11:00am 4/17/14 11:00am

A Very Strange Supernova

When supernova explode, they fling gas out into space, creating beautiful, gauzy remnant for us to drool over. Supernova remnant G352 is pretty, but weird. It's collecting extra material, misplaced its neutron star, and looks dramatically different depending on the wavelength. » 4/14/14 8:00am 4/14/14 8:00am

What Happens To The Surrounding Stars When One Of Them Goes Supernova?

What happens to a pair of binary stars when one of them goes supernova? These gorgeous shots of a binary star, in which one went supernova and the other remained intact, gives us one answer to that question. » 3/24/14 8:42am 3/24/14 8:42am

The closest supernova observed in 25 years is getting brighter

Three days ago, a white dwarf went supernova in nearby Galaxy M82. A starburst galaxy, M82 is a popular target for telescopes on account of its brightness. But its newly formed supernova, which astronomers have named SN 2014J, just became the brightest object in all the galaxy – and it's only going to get brighter. » 1/24/14 6:50am 1/24/14 6:50am

A white dwarf just exploded, creating the closest supernova in 25 years

A white dwarf exploded last night up in the Cigar Galaxy (also known as M82 to its friends), creating the closest supernova we've seen in the last 25 years — and one of the brightest, too. » 1/22/14 9:20am 1/22/14 9:20am

Our first glimpse of the dusty remnants of an exploding star

See that reddish cloud inside this supernova's shockwave? It's a massive plume of dust that formed shortly after the star ripped itself to shreds. The observation was made using the the brand new ALMA telescope — and it's one that will help explain how galaxies got their dusty and dim complexion. » 1/07/14 8:00am 1/07/14 8:00am

Here's the supernova Johannes Kepler studied 400 years ago

These are the remnants of the last supernova known to explode in our galaxy whose light has reached Earth. It lit up the night sky in 1604 and attracted the attention of Johannes Kepler himself. But it's only in the last couple of decades that we've developed the technology to understand exactly what kind of… » 5/19/13 11:30am 5/19/13 11:30am

This misshapen blotch was once the brightest supernova ever recorded

In the spring of the year 1006, Earth's sky was drastically altered by the appearance of a supernova that was brighter than the entire combined night sky. Mentioned in historical records throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America, this supernova was likely bright enough to be visible during daylight hours,… » 4/28/13 2:00pm 4/28/13 2:00pm

Behold, the most distant supernova explosion ever photographed

You're looking at one of the most far-flung star explosions ever recorded. Dubbed Supernova UDS10Wil (aka "SN Wilson," after Woodrow Wilson), it detonated more than 10 billion years ago, but only recently has its light found its way to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. » 4/04/13 1:46pm 4/04/13 1:46pm

Using balls to simulate a supernova

You’ve possibly seen this simple demonstration in your physics class in high school. The teacher grabs a large ball and a small one; the smaller, lighter ball is placed right on top of the heavier, larger one, and the pair are dropped together. The heavier ball hits the ground and bounces a little bit, but the… » 3/19/13 7:30am 3/19/13 7:30am

NASA has found a free particle accelerator floating in space

In early 2007, NASA's Cassini spacecraft observed something extraordinary around Saturn. An unusually strong blast of solar wind sent subatomic particles crashing into the ringed planet's magnetic field, giving rise to perhaps the most tremendous shock wave ever observed emanating from the planet. But newly announced… » 2/27/13 9:00am 2/27/13 9:00am

Watch the brilliant expansion of an exploded star, captured over 58…

In 1901, GK Persei was discovered to have gone nova 1,300 lights years from Earth. This time-lapse video captures the expansion of the nova from 1953 through 2011 using images from the Isaac Newton Telescope and the Nordic Optical Telescope, showing off a remarkable display of stellar fireworks. » 1/26/13 9:00am 1/26/13 9:00am

One physical phenomenon that orders our entire universe

If you've spent any time perusing the periodic table of elements, you've probably noticed that there aren't too many gaps. As the chart progresses, the number of protons, which define an element, march neatly from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on. This orderly transformation can't be made by fusion in stars alone. If you've… » 1/24/13 9:00am 1/24/13 9:00am

Can humans journey into deep space without cosmic radiation frying our…

Beyond a few brief trips to the Moon over four decades ago, humanity has never ventured outside of Earth's protective magnetic field. And while it's natural to dream of exploring the stars, such voyages may carry impossibly high medical risks. » 1/01/13 9:00am 1/01/13 9:00am