Stellar Spectacular: Brightest supernova | Science News

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Stellar Spectacular: Brightest supernova

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12:03pm, May 9, 2007

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.

According to that theory, the star that exploded must have been the heaviest on record, tipping the scale at more than 150 times the mass of the sun, says astronomer Nat

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