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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Hubble spies most distant star explosion ever

•, By Miriam Kramer
 Using the Hubble Space Telescope, scientists recently caught sight of Supernova UDS10Wil (nicknamed SN Wilson) which exploded more than 10 billion years ago. It took more than 10 billion years for the light of this violent star explosion to reach Earth.

SN Wilson is known as a Type Ia supernova — a particular kind of star explosion that gives scientists a sense of how the universe has expanded over time.

"This new distance record holder opens a window into the early universe, offering important new insights into how these stars explode," research leader David Jones of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., said in a statement. "We can test theories about how reliable these detonations are for understanding the evolution of the universe and its expansion." [See Amazing Pictures of Supernovas]

SN Wilson is only four percent more distant than the last most distant supernova of its kind found by Hubble, NASA officials said in a statement. However, that is still 350 million years further back in time than any other previously found star explosion.

By understanding when massive stars began exploding, scientists can get a sense of how quickly the universe was seeded with the elements needed to create planets and other cosmic bodies.

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