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Astronomers successfully predict supernova
Posted: Fri, Apr 18, 2003, 12:39 PM ET (1639 GMT)
Astronomers announced this week that they have for the first time successfully predicted when a star would undergo a supernova explosion. Supernova 2003dh was observed on April 8, ten days after astronomers observed a burst of gamma rays coming from the same direction. European and Israeli astronomers said they had developed a theory that linked gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) with supernovae, and after the GRB was observed March 29 predicted that a supernova would be seen around April 8. Astronomers said that the GRB and supernova take place at the same time, but it can take up to two weeks for the supernova brightness to peak at visible wavelengths. The discovery marks the first time that astronomers were able to predict the exact day a supernova would occur; previously astronomers could be no more accurate than a million years.
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