In archival images, astronomers see activity in weeks before giant star’s explosion
Just before a giant star blew up in a spectacular supernova explosion, it gave hints to its imminent demise. The pre-explosion activity of this star, detailed online February 6 in Nature, could enable astronomers to predict a star’s coming supernova and then watch it in real time.
“It’s a very fascinating study,” says Jon Mauerhan, an astronomer at the University of Arizona who was not involved in the research. Astronomers have only rarely witnessed the activity of a massive star before its explosion, he adds.