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NASA Says This Star is About to Explode

Updated January 16, 2014

NASA Says This Star is About to Explode

The Hubble Space Telescope recently took a photo of a dying star.  The image looks like a giant lidless eye peering back at the telescope, as described in unexpectedly poetic terms in a NASA release.  At the center of the nebula is a giant star, one that was once 20 times the size of our sun.  Now it is encased in a swirling ring of colored gas, the vestiges of another time before it cast off its outer layers with violent pulsations and winds.

This star (known as SBW2001 but commonly called SBW1) is special because scientists believe it will become a supernova.  What's more, it will be a supernova in our own Milky Way galaxy.

Scientists believe it will become a supernova because it bears a strong resemblance to another star Hubble caught just after it exploded about 26 years ago.

We're about 20,000 light-years away from this star so when and if it really does explode, we might be able to see it.  It might even happen in our lifetimes, though the actual real chance of that is slim.

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