Time Lapse Video Of An Exploding Star

By Brent McKnight | 8 years ago

Things happen more slowly in space. Take this video of an exploding star. That sounds pretty cut-and-dried, doesn’t it? It certainly looks that way from this clip, until you take into the account that this is a time-lapse video, one that unfurls over the course almost six decades, 58 years to be precise.

This looks like a massive, slow-motion fireworks show at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Let’s hope, however, that we don’t see a display like this in the skies overhead as the year comes to a close. That would probably be a bad sign.

Located more than 1,300 light years away from Earth, this star, GK Persal, exploded more than a century ago, all the way back in 1901. What’s left is now called Nova Persal, and these images of the explosion in process are taken from the Isaac Newton Telescope and the Nordic Optical Telescope in Spain, starting back in 1953. The two series of photos were subsequently combined so the three-dimensional model could be created.

Looking at these images, you can’t help but think about what a racket that kind of explosion would make. Seriously, a star blowing up must make quite a bit of noise, right? Then you pause and remember, oh yeah, there’s no sound in space. No air means no oscillating airwaves, means nothing for your eardrums to pick up on, hence, no sound. Oh well, maybe next time.