It’s ground hog day (and a very exciting one) in space with astronomers capturing a star exploding not once but four times, using the Hubble Space Telescope.
The ancient star was a supernova behind a cluster of huge galaxies, that exploded about 9 billion years ago, and was first detected by Patrick Kelly, an astronomer from the University of California.
The findings were published in Science journal this Friday.
The explosion formed a cosmic magnifying glass that created several images of the supernova, and it is an effect that Albert Einstein first predicted in the General Theory of Relativity 100 years ago.
Dr Brad Tucker from the Australian National University in Canberra Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics said that, as you would expect, the astronomy community are excited by the discovery.
“It’s perfectly set up, you couldn’t have designed a better experiment,” he said.
“You can test some of the biggest questions about Einstein’s theory of relativity all at once – it kills three birds with one stone.”
The discovery will allow scientists to further test Einstein’s theory, as well investigate the strength of gravity and the extent of dark matter and dark energy in the universe.