NASA's Hubble Telescope saw a gigantic, exploding star disappear into the void

Enlarge Image Hubble observed a supernova on the outer edge of spiral galaxy NGC 2525.

Seventy-million light-years away in the scenic spiral galaxy NGC 2525, a white dwarf exploded and the Hubble Space Telescope witnessed its last days.

NASA and the European Space Agency , which jointly run Hubble, released a rare time-lapse of the supernova's fading brightness .

"When a star unleashes as much energy in a matter of days as our sun does in several billion years, you know it's not going to remain visible for long," NASA said in a statement on Thursday .

"This yardstick is needed to calculate how quickly galaxies appear to be flying apart from one another, which in turn provides an age estimate for the universe."

While supernovae are relatively common across the span of the universe, Hubble's time-lapse gives us a rare peek at the dramatic process along with a poignant reminder that even stars aren't permanent.

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