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Looming kaboom

·1 min

This new view of supergiant star Eta Carinae is a preview of bad things to come. The composite image, released 20 June and taken in X-ray light by the Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical light by the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the remnants of an explosion that first lit up the night skies nearly 170 years ago. But that was just the warm-up. The star could show it has gone supernova at any time. And because Eta Carinae is up to 150 times more massive than the sun–and only 7500 light years away–the explosion will appear as bright as the full moon in the night sky for days or even weeks. (Photo: NASA-CXC (x-ray)/NASA-STScI (optical))