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Oh Yeah, Betelgeuse Is Definitely Looking Weirder

At this point, we’re all crossing our fingers that the dying star Betelgeuse will hurry up and explode already, because who doesn’t love a good show? The red giant star (visible in the constellation Orion) has been growing dimmer since late last year, leading many to speculate it could soon go supernova. Scientists operating the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope have released new images of the supergiant star – and yep, it looks weird. Read More >>

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Strongest Gamma-Ray Bursts Ever Recorded Are Illuminating the Universe’s Most Powerful Explosions

An international team of astronomers has detected a pair of gamma-ray bursts with energies more powerful than anything ever seen before. GRBs are the strongest explosions known in the cosmos, but these latest observations suggests we’ve significantly underestimated their true potential. Read More >>

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How Industrial Explosions Are Helping Us Understand Supernovae

Scientists have debuted a theory using the explosions seen in industrial accidents to understand supernovae in a new paper. Read More >>

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Wild Observation Shows White Dwarf Stars Merging Into Something New

Astronomers have observed evidence of a hot, spinning star blasting winds outwards at 10,000 miles per second, which seemed to have formed from a relatively recent collision of white dwarf stars. It’s some of the clearest evidence to date of these stars colliding and merging. Read More >>

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Stunning Pinwheel Nebula Is a Cosmic Cataclysm in the Making

This image of a dusty, gas-rich nebula looks pretty, but appearances can be deceiving. Known as a Wolf-Rayet star system, it’s poised to unleash a catastrophic gamma-ray burst when it finally goes supernova. What’s remarkable about this particular Wolf-Rayet system, however, is that it’s the first to be discovered in our own galaxy. Cue the ominous music... Read More >>

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Watch a Famous Supernova Change Over 25 Years

Perhaps the most important supernova of the modern era is SN 1987A, the closest supernova to Earth since the invention of the telescope. Scientists have been observing the explosion’s remnants since the 1987 event. Read More >>

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NASA’s Flagship X-Ray Telescope Back Online After Weekend Safe Mode

One of NASA’s flagship telescopes, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, went into safe mode last week following gyroscope problems. That telescope is now back up and running. Read More >>

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Famous Neutron Star Just Glitched in a Huge Way

On 8 November 2017, a spinning neutron star inside one of the most studied objects in the sky “glitched” more than it had ever glitched before. Read More >>

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This Extragalactic Eye Is Hiding a Neutron Star

There’s something hiding in the centre of the red ring in this colourful circle of gas and dust. But it’s only hiding if you don’t know how to look for it. In fact, at the centre if this image is a tiny neutron star that is spewing out x-rays. Read More >>

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Rare Type of Supernova Extinguishes Star at Unprecedented Speed

Supernovae produce some of the most powerful explosions in the cosmos, expelling a doomed star’s contents at velocities reaching 10 per cent the speed of light. It usually takes a few weeks or months for a supernova to fade into nothingness, but astronomers have now documented a record-setting case in which a star was extinguished in just a few days. Read More >>

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Amateur Astronomer Spots Supernova Right as It Begins

Amateur astronomer Victor Buso was testing his camera-telescope setup in Argentina back in September 2016, pointing his Newtonian telescope at a spiral galaxy called NGC613. He collected light from the galaxy for the next hour and a half, taking short exposures to keep out the Santa Fe city lights. When he looked at his images, he realised he’d captured a potential supernova—an enormous flash of light and energy bursting off of a distant star. Read More >>

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This Is the Most Distant Confirmed Supernova Ever Observed

Supernovae are already some of the brightest explosions in the universe—but there’s a more mysterious type, called superluminous supernovae, that can shine a hundred times brighter than the usual ones. And on 22 August 2016, astronomers spotted one whose light travelled over 10 billion years to reach us. Read More >>

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2017’s Best Space Explosions

Astronomers spend their days looking at the sky. Maybe some crazy complex new telescope is helping, or some form of AI is teasing the complexities out of vast piles of data. It’s still just the sky. The sky isn’t immutable, though. Some of the most interesting science happens when brief blips pass into and out of existence. These dots send their light in the form of radio waves, microwaves, visible light and gamma rays into measuring apparatuses and tell us something new about the universe. They might even send space itself rippling with gravitational waves. Read More >>

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Remarkable New Supernova Discovery Is Unlike Anything Seen Before

Astronomers have spotted something truly baffling: a new light 500 million light years away that looked exactly like a supernova...but acted like no supernova observed before. Read More >>

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Scientist Say Tardigrades Will Be the Last Animals on Earth

Microscopic tardigrades, also known as “water bears,” are the toughest animals on the planet, capable of withstanding intense radiation, extreme temperatures, and even the vacuum of space. In a fascinating new study, researchers have shown that tardigrades are poised to survive literally anything that nature throws at them—and that of the animals alive today, they’ll be the last ones standing before the Sun annihilates the Earth billions of years from now. Read More >>