Youngest Supernova Discovered

Exploding star found in Milky Way
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 3:55 AM CDT
Youngest Supernova Discovered
The Veil Nebula -- the shattered remains of a supernova that exploded some 5 - 10,000 years ago -- as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope.    (AP Photo)

Scientists have discovered the remains of the youngest exploding star, or supernova, ever seen in the Milky Way, shedding new light on the life cycles of stars. The baby supernova G1.9+0.3 is a mere 140 years old, reports National Geographic. Supernovas are a vital component of galaxy development because the exploding stars disperse high-energy particles and minerals, fueling the creation of new stars.

"Normally, we deal with older remnants and have to work very hard to see tiny changes," said an astrophysicist on the discovery team. "This supernova is getting brighter, which means it's still on its way up. Studying it will go a long way toward filling in gaps in our knowledge of these events and their effect on galaxies." (More astrophysics stories.)

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