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Supernova Spectacular

Starburst galaxies shed light on the early universe

Peering deep into the maelstrom of two colliding galaxies, astronomers have discovered a cluster of massive stars exploding like firecrackers. From what they've seen, researchers estimate that in this pair of merging galaxies, dubbed Arp 299, a star dies in a supernova explosion every 2 years. In quiescent galaxies such as the Milky Way, an entire century can go by between such spectacles.

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