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8 incredible images of dead and dying stars

April 17, 2012, 6:34 p.m.
Cepheus constellation

Photo: NASA

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The (almost) invisible aftermath of a star’s death

Not all stars go out in a blaze of supernova glory. Located 30,000 light-years away in the Cepheus constellation, astronomers have discovered a massive star whose quiet death was only picked up by the sensitive instruments of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. NASA officials say the star remnant is the “orange blob” in the middle of the photo. One of the reasons that experts think this supernova is so quiet is its location in the Milky Way. The dead star sits away from the dust and debris of our galaxy’s main disk, where most of the stars are located. Since this supernova was fairly isolated, there was less material for its expanding particles to crash into.