Star Power

Scientists Discovered a Star That Explodes Every Year

byJon Christian
2. 22. 19

It's the first star of its kind in the known universe.

Explosive Strength

Scientists have discovered a star in the Andromeda Galaxy that explodes every year — the first of its kind in the known universe.

“When we first discovered that M31N 2008-12a erupted every year, we were very surprised,” San Diego State University astrophysicist Allen Shafter said in a press release.

Blowing Up

Shafter and colleagues describe the peculiar star in a new paper published in the journal Nature.

M31N 2008-12a’s explosive routine, they believe, is due to its codependent relationship with a nearby star. It constantly sucks away its companion’s hydrogen, which explodes violently about once per year.


Big Bang

The constant explosions have created an extraordinary “super-remnant” of stellar debris that’s 400 light-years across.

The researchers suspect that the star is gearing up for an eventual supernova that will destroy it completely — and give scientists new insight into the type of activity that leads to a supernova.

“They are, in effect, the measuring rods that allow us to map the visible universe,” Shafter said. “Despite their importance, we don’t fully understand where they come from.”

READ MORE: This Star in Andromeda Has Exploded Every Year for Millions of Years [Astronomy]


More on Andromeda: When Galaxies Merge, the Black Holes in Their Hearts Fuse Together

Care about supporting clean energy adoption? Find out how much money (and planet!) you could save by switching to solar power at By signing up through this link, may receive a small commission.

Share This Article

Copyright ©, Camden Media Inc All Rights Reserved. See our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Data Use Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Futurism. Fonts by Typekit and Monotype.