Because of the vast distances separating us from the closest stars -- other than the sun, of course -- those great balls of fire seem like tiny pinpricks in the sky. Even when these stars finally go out in explosions bright enough to outshine entire galaxies, They're but a blip on the stellar radar. It's no wonder we've had difficulty studying them.
Now, there may be an easier alternative. Scientists from the University of Toronto and Rutgers University have managed recreate supernovas in miniature form. Instead of using gigantic, collapsing spheres of hydrogen and helium, these imitation stellar death rattles use a chemical cocktail that simulates the self-sustaining nature of these extraterrestrial explosions.
This breakthrough allows researchers to study supernovas in detail, without using cumbersome long-range sensors or encountering all that hazardous heat and radiation one will definitely be exposed to when viewing exploding stars up close.