Illustration for article titled The Star That Died Too Young

It's not just celebrities and beloved pets that pass before their time, apparently. Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have captured a star going supernova almost a million years before it should have.


The star, which exploded back in 2005, existed in galaxy NGC 266, 200 million light years away. But at this point, scientists aren't entirely sure why it exploded; the star "appeared" healthy, according to San Diego State University's Douglas Leonard:

[The] star when it exploded still had some of its hydrogen envelope. It seems to have exploded before its time... At this point conventional theory doesn't have a good explanation for this.


So did this star die for science? Apparently so, says Stephen Smartt, from the UK's Queen's University Belfast:

I think it's quite an extraordinary discovery... This really does call for us to revisit our models to see if we can get an explosion in this regime.

Rest in peace, star from NGC 266. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

Massive young star explodes 'before its time' [New Scientist]


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