Rare NASA Video Captures Every Crazy Detail of a Star Explosion

When a star dies, it goes out with an explosion better than anything Michael Bay could ever dish out. And now there's NASA footage of the entire light-shattering ordeal.

A recent video shared by NASA's Ames Research Center depicts an exploding star, and manages to capture, for the first time ever, the early flashes of the explosion. The animation was created based on photometric observations collected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope, which monitored star KSN 2011d. Although it has a lame name, star KSN 2011d is a substantial star, weighing in at "500 times the size of our sun," according to Science Daily. FYI: that's big.

Speaking on the milestone footage, Peter Garnavich, who's part of a research team that studies the Keplar images, told Science Daily, "In order to see something that happens on timescales of minutes, like a shock breakout, you want to have a camera continuously monitoring the sky. You don't know when a supernova is going to go off, and Kepler's vigilance allowed us to be a witness as the explosion began."

Watch the meticulously created footage above, and if you're a special effects supervisor, maybe learn a thing or two about explosions.

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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and watches too many action movies. Send news tips to and follow her at @karatillie.

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