The dramatic end to the life of a red supergiant star has been captured in real-time for the first time ever. The rapid self-destruction of the massive star, and its final death throes before collapsing into a type II supernova. This study was conducted by researchers at Northwestern University and the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley).
A team of scientists monitored the red supergiant during the 130 days leading up to its detonation. The discovery contradicts previous theories regarding how red supergiant stars evolve just before exploding. Earlier observations showed that red supergiants were relatively quiescent before their deaths — with no evidence of violent eruptions or luminous emissions.