Stargazers Witness Birth of Supernova

Astronomers first ever to see star's explosive death throes
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 22, 2008 3:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – A  pair of Princeton astronomers have become the first people ever to witness the explosive death of a star, reports. The pair were observing another supernova in its later stages when they happened to spot a huge burst of X-rays 90 million light years away. Astronomers believe their observations will fill in some blanks in knowledge about this cosmic phenomenon.

"For years we have dreamed of seeing a star just as it was exploding, but actually finding one is a once-in-a-lifetime event," said one of the Princeton stargazers. "We were in the right place, at the right time, with the right telescope, and witnessed history."