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NASA telescopes solve ancient stellar mystery

October 24, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
NASA telescopes helped solve an ancient space mystery of what caused the oldest recorded supernova and why its remnants spread to great distances.

The exploded star was observed by Chinese astronomers in the year 185.

Now, new infrared observations reveal that the stellar explosion of RCW 86 took place in a hollowed out cavity, as opposed to a core collapse.

That allowed its shattered remains to spread faster and farther.