Australian astronomers have captured never-before-seen photos of an exploding giant star, 100 times bigger than the sun.
The imagery of the supernova shows a powerful burst of light as a shock wave travels through the dying star moments before it detonates.
Australian National University astronomer Patrick Armstrong says the event – known as the shock cooling curve – provides clues about what type of star caused the explosion.
“This is the first time anyone has had such a detailed look at a complete shock cooling curve in any supernova,” he said on Thursday.
“We are particularly interested in how the brightness of the light changes over time prior to the explosion.”
The ANU team captured the “major discovery” using NASA’s Kepler space telescope.
“Because the initial stage of a supernova happens so quickly, it is very hard for most telescopes to record this phenomenon,” Mr Armstrong said.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Australian Associate Press