The Atlantic

Astronomers Glimpse a Luminous Object Born From a Star’s Death

It was unusually bright and evolving fast.
Source: Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Working the night shift can be pretty boring, even if you’re a telescope. You stare at the same section of sky for hours. Every night, you take in light from the same distant points in the abyss. There’s that asteroid you observed last night, and the night before that, and before that. The job, as important as it is, can be pretty tedious.

But sometimes the universe sends a little excitement—a cosmic phenomenon astronomers have explored only with theoretical models.

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