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Astronomers zoom in on megastar’s juvenile outburst

A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, a supergiant red star ended its life in a spectacular explosion known as a supernova. The light from that event took 160 million years to reach Earth where, in a stroke of luck, robot telescopes scanning the night sky happened upon it on October 6, 2013. On Monday, astronomers said the chance discovery allowed them to study the earliest phase of a supernova yet—just three hours after it erupted. "We immediately knew that what we have in hand is extremely unique," Ofer Yaron of…