Astronomers Report Largest Star Explosion Yet

Artist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy. i i

hide captionArtist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy.

NASA
Artist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy.

Artist's illustration of supernova SN 2006gy.

NASA

Astronomers say they've discovered an exploding star, a supernova, far brighter than any seen before.

"This was a truly monstrous explosion, a hundred times more energetic than a typical supernova," said Nathan Smith of the University of California at Berkeley, who led a team of astronomers from California and the University of Texas in Austin.

"That means the star that exploded might have been as massive as a star can get, about 150 times that of our sun. We've never seen that before."

The tantalizing, initial observations of supernova SN 2006gy are being published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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