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The doomed star Eta Carinae, it is blowing itself apart before it finally goes supernova
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Strange Stuff In Space

There is some pretty strange stuff in outer space. Some things are just so weird that scientists don't even know what they are.

When stars die they die in many different ways. When normal stars, like our sun, die they leave behind a White Dwarf. When really big stars die they often blow up in a huge explosion called a Supernova. Depending on how big a star was that went supernova, a Neutron Star or a Black Hole may be left behind.

There are stranger things in space. Not very long ago astronomers were confused by the mystery of Quasars. These objects look like stars but are much farther away than stars in our galaxy. And they are much brighter.

There is an effect that has caused excitement among astronomers called Gravitational Lensing. This is where really big things, like galaxies and galaxy clusters, actually bend light like a lens using gravity!

One of the strangest things in space is the mystery of Gamma Ray Bursts. These are what seem to be bursts of gamma rays, you know the radiation that made the Incredible Hulk. They come from every direction in the sky.

Last modified December 19, 2005 by Travis Metcalfe.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF