Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness

Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness

This supernova dominated our skies for weeks, a thousand years ago. It was brighter than Venus and visible during the day, and observers documented it in China, Japan, Europe and the Arab world. We now know that the brightest supernova on record, SN 1006c, was caused by a white dwarf star that gained mass from a companion star until it gorged itself and exploded. Click through for some more mind-blowing images of SN1006c, including some super-colorful X-ray images.

Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
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Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
Illustration for article titled Brightest Supernova In History Has Turned To Velvety Goodness
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[Chandra]

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DISCUSSION

Corpore Metal

@Marcus: Considering the size of that expanding envelope and estimates of civilization densities in this galaxy using the Drake Equation, I think it's pretty likely one, two or more civilizations got wiped out by that supernova. Supernovas can fry other solar systems with lethal radiation even at distances of 10 or 20 light years.

(Before we found evidence for an asteroid impact, it was speculated that a nearby supernova might have killed the dinosaurs.)

Scary universe to live in, eh?

Beautiful pictures though.