4,276,396 words. 4,992 posts.

Starts With A Bang #55 — The Cataclysmic Deaths Of Stars

by | Apr 10, 2020 | New, News

I would rather die of passion than of boredom.

— Vincent van Gogh

(Image credit: Bill Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF))

Starts With A Bang #55 — The Cataclysmic Deaths Of Stars

All stars will eventually die. But we’ve never seen ones die like this before.


When you look up at the sky, most of the points of light we see appear to be fixed. On night-to-night timescales, the distant stars and galaxies, with the exception of a few notable variables, appear to be relatively unchanged. But every once in a while, a spectacular event will occur, giving off a transient signal that outshines a typical star’s brightness by factors of many billions. These events fall into many classes: supernovae, gamma ray bursts, and even more exotic events, and part of the fun is uncovering exactly what’s going on as we discover these new classes of objects for the first time.

Scientist Anna Ho, PhD candidate at Caltech, is right on the cutting edge of that frontier, and brings us an insider’s look at this exciting and rapidly evolving field.

Come get the latest on what we know and what we’re still learning about the cataclysmic deaths of stars!

The Starts With A Bang podcast is made possible through the generous donations of our Patreon supporters, who get early access to this and all articles.

Starts With A Bang #55 — The Cataclysmic Deaths Of Stars was originally published in Starts With A Bang! on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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