They're catching exploding supernovae and voracious black holes in the act.
Studying the WIM with the WHAM.
It gives off the same amount of light as a candle, but viewed from 100,000 miles away.
It was a discovery of epic proportions — so much so that the people who saw it had to pull examples from science fiction in order to describe it. Ohio State astronomy professor Krzysztof Stanek and his colleagues were recently the first to observe what could be the largest supernova ever viewed from Earth. To illustrate the significance of this possible exploding star, Stanek turns to — what else? — a “Star Wars” reference. “The Death Star can destroy a planet in one second,” he said of the Empire’s ultimate weapon. “This supernova is like a million Death Stars. If