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Space Science

Huge Supernova Baffles Scientists 358

Posted by timothy
from the like-laser-pointers-to-cats dept.
Iddo Genuth writes "Scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and San Diego State University have observed an explosion of a star 50 times larger than the sun. In what they call a 'first observation of its kind' the scientists were able to notice that most of the star's mass collapsed in on itself, resulting in a creation of a large black hole. While exploding stars, or 'supernovae,' aren't unprecedented, this star, which lay about 200 million light years away from earth and was million times brighter than the Sun, has exploded as a supernova at a much earlier date than the one predicted by astronomers."
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Huge Supernova Baffles Scientists

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  • It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mc1138 (718275) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:38PM (#27350605) Homepage
    Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.
    • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AaxelB (1034884) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:47PM (#27350727)

      Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.

      Did you ever think we did? We're pretty damn clueless.

      I think we would all do well to remember what Socrates (approximately, probably) said: "The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all."

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ruie (30480) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @10:27PM (#27352155) Homepage

        I think we would all do well to remember what Socrates (approximately, probably) said: "The only thing I know is that I know nothing at all."

        We have made some progress since then. For once, we know that Earth is round and that Universe is 14 billion years old.

        Modern statement would be "there are many interesting questions to investigate".

        • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Informative)

          by similar_name (1164087) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @10:33PM (#27352201)
          Socrates thought the earth was round.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by digitalchinky (650880)

          I'll give you the earth being roughly spherical in shape, but we don't know that the universe is 14 billion years old. That figure is arrived at using more than an assumption or two, it's based on a whole load of things we don't understand, have no data on, or any means to test yet. It might well be accurate, but to say we 'know' is a little premature. Maybe you'll interpret this as nit-picking, I'm not sure. I don't mean for it to be though.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Kratisto (1080113)

            Actually, based on data collected from the Cosmic Microwave Background, our estimation of the Universe's age being about 13.7 billion is accurate within about a 2 billion year margin. Basically, all you have to do is extrapolate what the CMB looks like now back a few billion years and it hits a singularity, which we refer to as the beginning of the Universe (though it may or may not be). It would take an extremely revolutionary discovery to discount this sort of data.

            • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by AlecC (512609) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Friday March 27, 2009 @07:51AM (#27355411)

              But that is based on the assumption that the CMB is, indeed, the relic of the Big Bang, which is one of the assumptions referenced. And that the Hubble shift is, indeed, caused by the expansion of the Universe. Of course, I do not really doubt this, but these are still very indirect deductions. One could imagine a measurement which cast doubt on all of them - e.g. speed of light changing with time, in which case the whole Universe would probably need to be rescaled.

              • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Interesting)

                by Gandalf_Greyhame (44144) on Friday March 27, 2009 @08:11AM (#27355541) Journal

                you used an example regarding the speed of light changing with time. I recall reading an article about a year ago, where Spanish scientists have proposed a theory that time is in fact slowing down. [telegraph.co.uk] This theory is supposed to help explain why the universe appears to be continually expanding at an increased rate.

                Naturally this is only a theory, as is all science, but it does at least explain why we would see the expansion of the universe accelerating. Also, if proven, it would cause a lot of other theories, such as the age of the universe, to be reworked.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kismet (13199)

          You are using the language of the Faithful to describe scientific knowledge.

          "We" don't know anything. The people who "know" are the ones who have done the primary research. Have you? The rest of us have to look at evidence, as 2nd-hand witnesses, and then accept the testimony of those we have no reason to disbelieve.

          For instance, "you" have likely only seen third-party evidence of the roundness of the earth. Perhaps video footage and photographs. Maybe from high up in an airplane, you noticed the earth's cu

    • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by pilgrim23 (716938) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:02PM (#27350953)
      http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127001.300-space-storm-alert-90-seconds-from-catastrophe.html?full=true [newscientist.com] some excellent points there. We are about to loose civilization to a new form of "global Warm/toasting"
      • I read a good portion of the article as well as the comments in the link, and I'm inclined to believe this is a special interests article written in light of some of Obama's campaign comments about the need to upgrade/repair our power infrastructure. (Btw-- as usual, the problem with the grid is legislative, if this part is fixed then the carriers wouldn't have any problems paying for infrastructure repairs, not to mention upgrades. Fix the legislative problem and the whole situation will basically solve it

    • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:05PM (#27350989)

      another MythBusters experiment gone wrong!

    • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mt._Honkey (514673) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:09PM (#27351049)

      Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.

      I'm getting tired these kinds of posts every time something unexpected is observed. Yes, this observation tells us that our knowledge is not perfect. However, these claims that every contradiction between experiment and theory means that scientists don't know very much aren't just wrong but irresponsible, because people believe them.

      The vital point I need to make here is that our finite knowledge is not "all this proves". This proves that 50 solar mass stars can supernova before they shed their hydrogen atmospheres. Now we can take that new piece of knowledge and develop new and better theories about stellar evolution. To just throw are hands up and say "all this proves is that we don't know much" is to overlook a valuable opportunity to advance science.

      • by rattaroaz (1491445) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:30PM (#27351269)
        All your post proves is that that you really don't know all that much about ./ers
      • by syousef (465911)

        Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.
        I'm getting tired these kinds of posts every time something unexpected is observed.

        Me too. It took me 3 years of study to not understand much about what's going on in Astronomy, and I haven't even covered the entire breadth of topics I wanted to (let alone depth)...but I guess I should just throw away my Astronomy degree since some slashdot troll thinks we don't know anything...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by merreborn (853723)

        Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.

        I'm getting tired these kinds of posts every time something unexpected is observed. Yes, this observation tells us that our knowledge is not perfect.

        You rush to the defense of human knowledge at a time when our own short-sighted ignorance has just brought us to an era of spectacular failure.

        Surely, if the world's finance "experts" really understood economics, they wouldn't have positioned their companies for

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I was under the impression that it was managers who ran companies, not economists?

          • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by FooAtWFU (699187) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:51PM (#27351925) Homepage
            Yes... and for that matter, plenty of Economists and Analysts were predicting the impending doom. A few people even managed to make quite a tidy bundle off of it (real estate shorts, in essence). The problem wasn't that nobody knew, it's that nobody was listening because it wasn't what they wanted to hear.

            (Especially the politicians. Nothing so resoundingly bipartisan as the willful ignorance of our impending doom this past decade...)

            • Re:It happens? (Score:4, Informative)

              by MishgoDog (909105) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:15AM (#27353459)
              A statistician friend of mine pointed me to a study (that I have now lost) which showed some very interesting figures.

              The premise showed that basically, if you selected 100 investment portfolios at random (possibly with some basic rules, I'm not sure), exactly the same proportion would exceed to the same extent as if you the proportion of stock brokers who beat the market.

              The point is, if you missed it, that successful investors are no more than stastical effects :)

              Now, in reference to 'plenty of economists & analysts were predicting the impending doom', a lot weren't. Pick ANY situation, and you'll have plenty of analysts predicting both ways - and the ones who turn out to be correct are invariably labelled insightful, when no doubt a lot of them are just lucky.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Ihlosi (895663)
                Pick ANY situation, and you'll have plenty of analysts predicting both ways - and the ones who turn out to be correct are invariably labelled insightful, when no doubt a lot of them are just lucky.

                People who trumpet their opinions about the stock market in public can't have too much confidence in what they're saying. If you really know what the stock market will be doing in the future, you shut the hell up and adjust your investments accordingly. Then, there's no ???, just profit.

        • Agreed. Scientists know a hell of a lot, but what it comes down to is that we've sat on one little spot in one galaxy and made observations and studies as best we can. We have so little to work with on the scale of the universe that it's astounding we know as much as we do, but anyone with a brain can figure out that what we know is a tiny portion of what's out there to discover. It's sad to me that the GP got so defensive about something that is, at its core, true. As a species we know very little right no
        • one difference (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Trepidity (597)

          Very few scientists in other fields consider economics a legitimate science. In its partial defense, it's studying very complex phenomena--- considerably more complex than understanding the weather, for example, which is itself no cakewalk. On the other hand, economics doesn't seem to really understand that it's dealing with complex dynamical systems, and has been extremely slow to import the tools now standard in all other areas that deal with complex dynamical systems (including weather). Instead they see

        • Re:It happens? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Henry Pate (523798) on Friday March 27, 2009 @01:01AM (#27353363) Homepage Journal

          Surely, if the world's finance "experts" really understood economics, they wouldn't have positioned their companies for the collapses they recently saw. Or did AIG's best and brightest know they were setting their company up for catastrophe?

          Rolling Stone had an article in the latest issue titled AIG: The Big Takeover [rollingstone.com]. Here's a small excerpt from it.

          The latest bailout came as AIG admitted to having just posted the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history -- some $61.7 billion. In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That's $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG's 2008 losses).

          It is truly an amazing article and the presents the clearest picture I've seen of how this came about. I suggest everyone read it.

      • Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.

          OMG! We didn't know 50 solar mass stars can supernova before they shed their hydrogen atmospheres! Quick! Let's ban gay marriage and stem cell research and start praying!

      • by mangu (126918) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:33PM (#27351817)

        I'm getting tired these kinds of posts every time something unexpected is observed

        Me too. Those posts show nothing but the envy of people who wished they understood science, but do not have the needed energy and intelligence to study the necessary mathematics.

        Their escape mechanism is to pretend no one really understand science. They think they don't look so stupid if they can pretend everybody is as stupid as they are.

        I think the perfect answer to that kind of thinking was given by Isaac Asimov in an essay named "The Relativity of Wrong" [google.com]. In that article, Asimov shows that the difference between a flat earth and a spherical earth is much bigger than the difference between a spherical earth and the true shape of the earth. Although people who thought the earth was spherical were wrong, they were much *less* wrong than people who thought the earth was flat.

        Science converges asymptotically to the truth. Even if scientists can never be absolutely certain of the truth, they are always getting nearer to absolute truth.

        • I think the perfect answer to that kind of thinking was given by Isaac Asimov in an essay named "The Relativity of Wrong" [google.com].

          While I support your point that article is actually not a good example. Since that article was written we have learnt that we don't know what 96% of the Universe is made of. While it is true that normally we asymptotically approach the truth of the matter sometimes we make completely unexpected discoveries that completely change the picture in ways we cannot imagine beforehand. These are the really exciting and educational moments.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by mangu (126918)

            Since that article was written we have learnt that we don't know what 96% of the Universe is made of.

            And don't you think it's just amazing that scientists can look at stars that are hundreds of millions light years away and, from their measurements alone, they can calculate and conclude that twenty times more matter is needed to account for the way those stars are moving?

            This "dark matter" problem that you mention does not show a weakness, but a *strong* point of science. The existence of dark matter does n

        • by LS (57954)

          A bit of a divergence, but...

          "Science converges asymptotically to the truth. Even if scientists can never be absolutely certain of the truth, they are always getting nearer to absolute truth."

          How can you say that science converges asymptotically to the truth? That implies that you know in advance what the truth is. Why bother with the science in the first place then?

          LS

          • by mangu (126918)

            How can you say that science converges asymptotically to the truth?

            Read the essay I mentioned. You can say that because corrections to the current theory are smaller than the former corrections.

            Asimov gives a concrete example, he mentions the difference in height when you measure the terrain a certain distance away. In a flat earth that difference should be zero. In a spherical earth that difference should be 8 inches per mile everywhere. In the best known figures when Asimov wrote that article the differen

        • Most scientists don't understand science, outside their tiny provincial field; I'm a scientist so I see this all the time. Most have very fairy-tale notions of the scientific method and knowledge production in particular.

          You might want to read up on some of the people (scientists especially) who have taken the time to understand how science works, and written on the philosophy and sociology of science.

          In particular, it is certainly not true that science converges asymptotically to the truth. It oven diverges substantially, sometimes for hundreds of years, before entire fields (like "racial hygiene") are thrown out as failed experiments. We're currently in the middle of a debate over whether string theory should be placed in that dustbin or not, for example.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Lumpy (12016)

        Dude chill. In reality. Specifically astrophysics. the amount we know is infinitesimally small compared what is needed to know about it.

        See that single carbon atom, there on your desk. That's how much we know in relation to the planet, now compare that to the universe and you start to get it. Any good honest astronomer and astrophysicist will tell you that.

        Quit trying to make us as a species more enlightened than we really are. We are barely out of the apes beating each other over the head with sticks

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Slumdog (1460213)

      Clearly all this proves is that we really don't know that much about what's going on in the universe.

      Clearly? I think it depends on your sample size. So far we have only been able to collect very little data about some phenomena, and quite a good amount of data about others. So, we do know a lot about some things.

      With an infinite universe (such as ours) and finite lifespan (such as ours) there is only so much data we can collect to gather inferences about what we observe. I think what you are saying is redundant.

      • If the universe is infinite. It may not be (many, if not most, scientists seem to think it isn't.)
    • by WilyCoder (736280)

      I was looking for a reason to get wasted tonight and now I have one. Everyday might be the last day, drink up!

    • by numbski (515011)

      What I find funny is that we're talking about this like it's present-tense.

      "...which lay about 200 million light years away..."

      This didn't happen recently. It quite literally happened 200 million years ago. We just now noticed is all. ;)

      Either that, or we *really* don't have a clue, this just happened, and now we're going to have to send Bruce Willis up to clean up the mess, just like we always do.

      • by pcolaman (1208838)

        We just now noticed is all. ;)

        Either that, or we *really* don't have a clue, this just happened, and now we're going to have to send Bruce Willis up to clean up the mess, just like we always do.

        Screw that shit, Chuck Norris and Jack Bauer are already fighting over the rights to round house kick this supernova star to the next universe.

  • by Fumus (1258966) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:41PM (#27350641)
    Now they "accidentally" blew up a star. Great!
  • by Faizdog (243703) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:45PM (#27350689)

    It wasn't supposed to go nova now, but it was part of God's plan so that our ancestors would know the way here after peeking in the Temple. They could've had more time to look around, but their enemies were right behind them.

  • 200 light years (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Endo13 (1000782) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @07:57PM (#27350857)

    But since it was 200 light years away, that means it actually happened 200 years ago, right?

    Talk about old news...

  • Maybe some alien race discovered nuclear fusion and for some reason tested a bomb 4x the size of the Tsar bomb [wikipedia.org] that likely produced a yield of 100x Earth's version (5000MT). That would be a big "oops". Heck, this could prove not all alien races are intelligent (from a perspective).

    .

    .

    .

    Take that, science.

  • You know... (Score:5, Funny)

    by FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:02PM (#27350955) Homepage
    It would really suck if a massive gamma ray burst from that supernova screwed up the rest of this pou3u7IU89&&bu*8389*(&Y(*(¥¥90øioiuuy
    • by TheSHAD0W (258774)

      Don't panic folks, that wasn't a gamma ray burst; it was his cat expressing her opinion of his joke.

  • LHC? (Score:5, Funny)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:06PM (#27350995) Journal

    Apparently, they've fixed their LHC.

  • Uh huh... (Score:4, Funny)

    by djupedal (584558) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:06PM (#27350997)

    > '...Baffles Scientists'

    And we all know just how difficult that can be to accomplish these days.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      The good thing is, it's hard to ignore an exploding star. You can't just write it off as an anomaly, within acceptable standard deviations, or a measurement error.

      There still exists a great number of well-known anomalies which occur in for example electronics design, and yet we seem to think we know all there is to know about EM. The memristor is the latest instance of an 'anomaly' being transformed into what promises to be revolutionary technology. Yet, heaven forbid anybody but a select few favourite name

  • Ruh-roh! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Unmanifest (948811) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:07PM (#27351025)
    "...exploded as a supernova at a much earlier date than the one predicted by astronomers."

    (eying the sun nervously)...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Clearly our sun could collapse at any time. We should not wait until a potentially hostile star right on our doorsteps decides to attack!

      I call for a premeptive strike to be made on the sun!
  • by jd (1658) <.imipak. .at. .yahoo.com.> on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:16PM (#27351125) Homepage Journal

    One is that this was a binary system, that a second star was behind the first at the time of the "pre-supernova" photo, and that they collided. Remember, they have very few photographs, are not using any data from space telescopes like SWIFT, and are therefore filling in the blanks.

    We can assume that star evolution is moderately well-understood (though not completely), so if what they think is the input is inconsistent with what they know is the output, the chances are really good that the input is wrong, especially with such little data.

    Another possibility. In order to get a supernova, as TFA notes, you need iron at the core of the star. There is no requirement that the iron be formed by the star, so there is no requirement that the star be at a stage in its evolution to have formed said iron. I don't know how large a rocky planet can get, but it's entirely possible to theorize of a bloody massive exoplanet made largely of iron dive-bombing a star. Depending on how close to critical the star is, it's possible to imagine such a strike giving a supermassive star severe indigestion.

    There again, they may have miscalculated the distance. I believe they rely on spectral analysis to determine the relative velocity of a star and use that to infer distance, as you can't use parallax at those kinds of distances. However, if the star was getting close to critical, the spectral patterns can't necessarily be assumed to follow those of stars in better health. Further, if the star's movement was not primarily due to the expansion of space, the measured Doppler shift won't be directionally proportional to distance.

    These reasons have probably been gone through and either discarded, laughed at, or even maybe put in the "improbable but should be looked at" pile, but it's very reasonable to assume the astronomers themselves have come up with many, many more possibilities, all of which could be valid based on what little is known.

    And that's just it. Very little is known, unless one of the rapid-reaction space telescopes detected the explosion and took a look. TFA makes no mention of such data, but given the volume they process maybe that information hasn't been looked at yet. But I suspect the mystery won't be solvable unless such extra data does exist.

    • by AstroWeenie (937631) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @09:13PM (#27351669)

      Sorry, but most of your ideas are far off base.

      One is that this was a binary system, that a second star was behind the first at the time of the "pre-supernova" photo, and that they collided. Remember, they have very few photographs, are not using any data from space telescopes like SWIFT, and are therefore filling in the blanks.

      Not correct -- they used both historical Hubble data to detect the star before it exploded and followup Hubble observations to confirm that the star has now disappeared. And they have data from the Keck Observatory with observations of the supernova. That's about as good as it gets for data.

      We can assume that star evolution is moderately well-understood (though not completely), so if what they think is the input is inconsistent with what they know is the output, the chances are really good that the input is wrong, especially with such little data.

      Star evolution is well understood for the bulk of the lifetimes of stars like the Sun, but there are still many questions about this sort of massive star. Such stars lose most of their mass during their lifetimes through stellar winds, which are themselves very complicated and not that well understood theoretically. And then the stars go through this luminous blue variable stage (which is what this star was before it blew up), and that is very poorly understood and is the subject of a lot of current work.

      So it is in fact much more likely that this has uncovered a part of late stellar evolution of massive, luminous stars that is not correctly described by current models. We don't need any really bizarre explanation like iron planets falling into the middle of the stars. (And that wouldn't work anyway -- the planet would have to have a mass bigger than the Sun to have a big effect.)

      • by jd (1658)

        Hey, I seem to remember noting that they were almost certainly off-base. :) Besides, this is Slashdot, so being off-base is normal. With grits.

        Oh, you're probably right about it being some oddity in this stage in the lifecycle. And, yes, the solar winds are not completely understood (although, if I'm right, our sun's heliopause was about where it was expected and the Pioneer/Voyager data doesn't show up any amazing oddities that I've heard of).

        Oh, and if I recall correctly, the largest known exoplanet is 16

      • by khallow (566160)
        Still could be a contact binary system.

        So it is in fact much more likely that this has uncovered a part of late stellar evolution of massive, luminous stars that is not correctly described by current models. We don't need any really bizarre explanation like iron planets falling into the middle of the stars. (And that wouldn't work anyway -- the planet would have to have a mass bigger than the Sun to have a big effect.)

        I like this too.

    • by Cyberax (705495)

      200 millions of light-years is too small for significant Hubble effects.

      Spectral patterns are not really affected by the star being close to collapse, since we only see its outer envelope which consists of fairly normal plasma.

      • by jd (1658)

        That's a part I'm not completely sure about. (See hundred-mile pipe organ story, holes in the sun's corona story, and in fact any other story on recent observations of the sun.) The sun is absolutely tame, as uncontrolled fusion reactors go, but the outer layers have generally been totally bizarre.

        Is it the distance that obscures such bizareness in these sorts of stars (as we can assume that anything the sun can do, other stars can do better) or is it that when you get supermassive stars, these sorts of thi

  • I'm totally calling it.

  • by allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:20PM (#27351173)
    ...it's just some omnipontent aliens, building an interstellar highway. Nothing to see here... move along, and don't forget your towel.
  • Whodunit? (Score:3, Funny)

    by SirLoadALot (991302) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:36PM (#27351351)
    The next Slashdot poll should ask which alien race is responsible for this. I'm voting for the CowboyNealiens.
  • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:36PM (#27351353) Homepage

    You science people have completely missed the mark. The Messiah has come to end the world and take the faithful home!

  • by WCMI92 (592436) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:42PM (#27351403) Homepage

    Luminous Blue Variables (like Eta Carine) are so massive and so bright that gravity can barely hold them together. Should it be such a shock that such a star might blow itself apart given their inherent instability.

    • Luminous Blue Variables (like Eta Carine) are so massive and so bright that gravity can barely hold them together. Should it be such a shock that such a star might blow itself apart given their inherent instability.

      The stars likely shed a good deal of their mass to their solar wind, but there are several orders of magnitude between fusion bursts and supernovae. Kind of like the difference between 100 lbs of black powder and 100 lbs of TNT... actually its probably more like 100lbs of nuclear bomb.

  • there goes another civilization with a Hadron sized super collider. Just when they thought they were on the edge of something, they collapsed into something much much much much much much smaller. ;-0

    LoB

  • by AstroWeenie (937631) on Thursday March 26, 2009 @08:50PM (#27351489)
    Here's the Hubble press release [hubblesite.org] and the paper [hubblesite.org].
  • Damn! I hate it when that happens.

  • Colonel Samantha Carter launched a Stargate into a star, causing a sudden change in mass..

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