Catch a failing star: the tense wait for a supernova

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If Stephen Smartt gets lucky, he may one day receive a message that will give the astrophysicist an advance warning that one of the most extraordinary displays known to science is about to light up the night sky. Signals relayed by automated telescope arrays and underground detectors will reveal that a star in our galactic neighbourhood has just turned supernova. A supernova occurs when a star de...

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