A bumper crop of supernovae

Ever wondered what 1800 exploding stars might look like?

Well, wonder no more.

Using a 870 mega-pixel digital camera attached to the top of the Subaru Telescope, which belongs to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan but is located at the Mauna Kea Observatory on Hawaii, researchers succeeded in photographing almost 2000 supernovae across a very broad section of the night sky.

It’s no mean feat. Supernovae can produce a burst of light as much as one billion times brighter than the sun, but die down very quickly, disappearing in just weeks.

Details of the research have been published in the journal Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan.

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