Dusty remains from a dead star

A glowing cloud of dust spotted near a supernova offers clues to how the earliest stars formed

By Stephen Ornes, 14:16 PM January 17, 2014

A distant cloud of space dust is helping scientists confirm how stars likely formed in the early universe. They had thought new suns formed from the dusty debris ejected as old stars died. But until now, they had never gotten a good look at that dusty residue in the vicinity of a massive dying star.

 

When a massive star runs out of fuel, it grows brighter and explodes, creating what’s called a supernova. Astronomers have been trying to measure the huge amounts of dust spewed by a supernova. Th...

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