An ancient star that was tore apart by a giant explosion, up to 100-times larger than our sun, created a supernova which shines twice as brightly as any other in the universe. It released 10 times the energy of a normal-sized supernova, and scientists believe that two stars may have even merged just before the blast occurred. Read more for a video and additional information.
The ultra bright supernova was first discovered back in 2016 using data from the Panoramic Survey Telescopes and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS), but a four-year follow-up study revealed the true scale of the explosion.
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We determined that in the final years before it exploded, the star shed a massive shell of gas as it violently pulsated. The collision of the explosion debris with this massive shell led to the incredible brightness of the supernova. It essentially added fuel to the fire,” said Matt Nicholl of the University of Birmingham.