Supernova birth seen for first time

Pasadena, CA. Astronomers have seen the aftermath of spectacular stellar explosions known as supernovae before, but until now no one has witnessed a star dying in real time. While looking at another object in the spiral galaxy NGC 2770, using NASA’s orbiting Swift telescope, Carnegie-Princeton fellows* Alicia Soderberg and Edo Berger detected an extremely luminous blast of X-rays released by a supernova explosion. They alerted 8 other orbiting and on-ground telescopes to turn their eyes on this first-of-its-kind event.

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