Astronomers may have finally uncovered the long-sought progenitor to a specific type of exploding star by sifting through NASA Hubble Space Telescope archival data and conducting follow-up observations using W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii.
The supernova, known as a type Ic, is thought to detonate after a massive star has shed or been stripped of its outer layers of hydrogen and helium.
These stars are among the most massive known—at least 30 times more massive than our own Sun. Even after shedding some of their material late in life, they remain very large and bright.
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