Astronomers Witness Death of Rare Giant Star

Using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, scientists have created a stunning new image of one of the youngest supernova remnants in the galaxy. Image credit: NASA/CXC/NCSU/S.Reynolds et al.

After first spotting an unusually bright supernova in 2007, astronomers believe that they witnessed an example of a pair-instability supernova in which a star has mostly run out of hydrogen and helium and only has a core of oxygen.  This is a supernova for massive stars with more than 140 times the mass of the sun.  The supernova, called SN2007bi, remained visible almost two years after its first discovery.  A team has since analyzed the star’s signature and recently published their findings in the journal Nature.

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