In a first for astronomy, a distant supernova has been observed that was previously predicted to appear, has been imaged by a team of astronomers from the University of South Carolina, using the Hubble Space Telescope. The prediction utilized the effect of gravitational lensing, where the gravity of a massive object will bend light from a source behind it around itself, as if it were an optical lens.
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When stars explode they become brilliant supernova for a short time, then they may undergo a sudden gravitational collapse into a neutron star or black hole, Astronomers are trying to catch glimpses of this happening, in case it happens to us in the future (In 2012? NOTE: Subscribers can still listen to this show).
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Using two of its new telescopes –one on the ground and one in space– NASA have seen one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts ever observed, which seems to be the destruction of a massive star. Astronomers say they have never seen anything this bright, long-lasting and variable before. Usually, gamma-ray bursts mark the destruction of a massive star, but Flaring emissions from these events never last more than a few hours, but high-energy radiation from it continued to be seen from it for more than a week afterwards. read more