A stellar explosion, the supernova is the sensational death of a star. It can shine as bright as 100 billion Suns and radiate as much energy as the Sun would emit over 10 billion years.
Jets of high-energy light and matter are propelled into space and can cause massive Gamma Ray Bursts and emit intense X-ray radiation for thousands of years.
Astronomers believe that this process creates the very building blocks of planets, people and plants. Meet the world's leading Supernova hunters, and take a look at recorded supernovas throughout history.