NASA Releases Hubble Images Of Star Right As It Explodes

IN SPACE - JULY 12: In this handout photo provided by NASA, NASA's James Webb Space Telescope reveals Stephans Quintet, a visual grouping of five galaxies, in a new light on July 12, 2022 in space. This enormous mosaic is Webb's largest image to date, covering about one-fifth of the Moons diameter. It contains over 150 million pixels and is constructed from almost 1,000 separate image files. The information from Webb provides new insights into how galactic interactions may have driven galaxy evolution in the early universe.  (Photo by NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • To see a star right as it explodes in a supernova is extremely rare. Luckily, researchers combing through the archives of the Hubble Space Telescope’s observational data from 2010 have spotted imagery of an exploding star from some 11 billion years ago, lurking behind a galaxy cluster — making it the first time such an event has been observed from so early in the universe.
  • “It is quite rare that a supernova can be detected at a very early stage, because that stage is really short,” said Wenlei Chen, who is the lead author of an accompanying study published in the journal Nature and a researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Physics and Astronomy, in a NASA statement.


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