Space has no shortage of amazing discoveries just hiding away amidst the darkness. A group of scientists will now forever remember the moment in which they witnessed a red giant star explode right before their eyes in real-time.
This is the first time this has been witnessed in all of the history of astronomy.
Red Giant Star Explodes, Scientists Finally Witness
So, what exactly happens when a red giant star explodes? At the end of its lifecycle, it “goes supernova” and essentially releases a massive burst of energy and chemicals in one epic moment. Beyond the moment itself being something truly interesting to witness, red giant stars are essential to space’s fragile ecosystem.
These events are a chemical breeding ground, which makes them one of the most important events to occur in all of outer space. A group of astronomers got to watch this dramatic event by using a telescope stationed in Hawaii.
Although the group witnesses the space first moment back in September 2020, now they are finally releasing observations related to that day.
“It’s like watching a ticking time bomb. We’ve never confirmed such violent activity in a dying red supergiant star where we see it produce such a luminous emission, then collapse and combust, until now,” one of the astronomers, Raffaella Margutti, said, according to CNN.
We’ve seen illustrations of what scientists believed this moment would look like in space. Now, we’ll have an even better understanding of the moments leading up to and following this event.
The star that was focused on was located in the NGC 5731 galaxy, which happens to be about 120 million light-years away from Earth. This massive star was 10 times the size of the sun before it exploded dramatically.
Scientists Find a Massive New Fossil
From outer space to Earth, there is no shortage of profound discoveries that scientists make on a day-to-day basis. Recently, scientists think they may have found a fossil for what could have been “the biggest bug that ever lived.”
In this instance, we’re pretty glad the keyword is in fact fossil. A huge millipede fossil was found on a beach in northern England. The fossil was spotted in 2018 and was visible when a piece of sandstone fell from a nearby cliff.
“It was a complete fluke of a discovery. It was an incredibly exciting find, but the fossil is so large it took four of us to carry it up the cliff face,” Neil Davies, a lecturer at the University of Cambridge, said to CNN.
Scientists believe the fossil is 100 million years older than the dinosaurs. It has the name Arthropleura and this is the third fossil of its kind ever found. It’s a huge discovery, both in size and value.
The fossil is about 22 inches wide and 8.6 feet long. It is also about 110 pounds. This fossil will be featured publically in the Sedgwick Museum in Cambridge starting sometime in 2022.