New Technique Finds Ancient Star Explosions

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Astronomers have spotted the most distant and oldest star explosions yet in the universe.

Scientists captured the fuzzy death throes of two supernovae (soo-per-noh-vee) that date back nearly 11 billion years. A supernova is the violent death of a star.

The astronomers looked through archives of telescope images to find possible faint star deaths. This type of supernova leaves a shell-like remnant. So after finding signs of explosions, they confirmed them by spotting the remnants using the Keck Telescope in Hawaii. The study is in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Study author Jeff Cooke (coo-KEE) at the University of California, Irvine, said this new technique may eventually find the first deaths of stars in the universe.


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