This Is Incredible
NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope has just captured, for the first time, the flash of an exploding star.
Led by astrophysicist Peter Garnavich, an international science team have recently analyzed Kepler and the light it captured from 500 galaxies over three years. They were searching through 50 million stars looking for a supernova(s) [massive stellar death of a star].
They found, that in 2011, two red supergiants [stars] exploded while in view of Kepler. The first was 700 million light years away and 300 times the size of our sun. The second was 1.2 billion light years away and 500 times the size of our sun.
To put their size into perspective, Earth’s orbit about our sun would fit comfortably within these colossal stars,” said Garnavich.
There was another interesting thing about this. Both explosions had the same power, but only the larger star had a shockwave that tore though space. While they can’t be sure, scientists are suggesting that the large star may have been surrounded by a gas that contained the shockwave .