When Big Stars Go Bang

Stars have a finite lifespan, and when they die, they can do so with a whimper, or more rarely, in a spectacular supernova. Supernovae are important events, they’re believed to be the method by which heavier elements are distributed across the galaxy, elements which are necessary for life to develop.

Now scientists have found a supernova that was truly enormous – an explosion that was 5 times brighter than any supernova ever seen. It was so bright that it is estimated that the star that exploded was about 150 times as big as our own Sun. This particular star was over 240 million light years away, so it wouldn’t be really noticed here on Earth. Though there may be another one coming that will be noticeable. There’s a star in our own galaxy, about 7,500 light years away that could go supernova in the same manner. According to scientists, if this “local” star explodes in the same way, it will be bright enough to be seen during the day and even read a book by it’s light at night.

Here’s looking forward to the light show!