Mini-Supernovas Discovered

Weak explosions


Astronomers have discovered a new kind of supernova, a star explosion so weak that scientists dubbed it a miniature stellar blast.

Supernovas represent the deaths of stars, which collapse in powerful explosions. They generally are classified into two main types; the new class, called Type Iax, "is essentially a mini-supernova," said lead researcher Ryan Foley, an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "It's the runt of the supernova litter."