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American Physical Society meeting

Highlights from the April physics meeting, Denver, April 13-16

2:44pm, April 19, 2013

 Classifying the Crab Nebula supernova

In 1054, eyes turned to the sky as a giant star 6,500 light-years away exploded as a supernova. Today, what’s left behind is a colorful shell of gas and dust known as the Crab Nebula. Now an astronomer has laid out a blueprint of just how that star exploded.

The Crab supernova confounds astronomers because it packed less energy than a typical explosion of a star of its size, yet a large portion of that energy seemed to show up as visible light — so much so that Chinese astronomers repor

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