SN2016aps, a supernova ( the final explosion of a dying star)that was brighter and released more energy than any other ever observed by astronomers.

Love the letters in its name ‘aps!’

The “star stuff” that astronomer Carl Sagan famously said we are all made of was forged in the exploding supernova of dying stars.

The phrase isn’t just a pithy remark for a bumper sticker, it’s backed up by science. “All the silver, nickel, and copper in the Earth and even in our bodies came from the explosive death throes of stars,” said NASA scientist Steve Howell in a 2016 statement. “Life exists because of supernovae.”

The extraordinary brightness, energy and other unique qualities of SN2016aps suggest to scientists that it could be the result of an extremely rare event known as a pulsational pair-instability supernova. These rare events occur when two massive stars merge before exploding.

An artist’s concept of the SN2016iet supernova. 
Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA/ illustration by Joy Pollard

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