For the first time, scientists have witnessed the birth of a supernova. Heidi Hammel with the Space Science Institute tells us more.
On the left: 'Before' images show a previously known supernova, SN 2007uy, in galaxy NGC 2770.
On the right: An X-ray image taken on January 9, 2008, captures a moment of a 5-minute-long burst, indicating the creation of a new supernova, SN 2008D. The exploded star became visible to regular photography a few days later.
Image credit: NASA/Swift Science Team/Stefan Immler