Saturday, February 25, 2006


A Supernova Spectacle Begins

`A star in a galaxy not so far way, at least in cosmic terms, is exploding, astronomers say.

Already the star outshines its entire galaxy, a smudge of light about 440 million light-years away in the constellation Aries. But that, astronomers believe, is still only the beginning, and telescopes around the world are being turned toward Aries in anticipation of documenting one of the rarest and most violent events in nature, a supernova explosion.

The conflagration was detected on Saturday as a long burst of gamma rays by NASA’s Swift satellite. Such bursts have been linked to supernova explosions in which a massive star collapses into a black hole.’

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