Astronomers this week described the brightest stellar explosion ever recorded. In just 2 months, the eruption—the catastrophic death of what was probably a freakishly massive star—has thrown out as much radiation as the sun will during its entire 10-billion-year lifetime. One hundred times as energetic as a typical supernova, the outburst may belong to a rare, new class of explosions that's been predicted by theory but never before observed.
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