Cosmic Bomb

A curious type of star astonishes astronomers

It wasn't long ago that astronomers had just a handful of heavenly bodies to think about: stars, planets, comets and not much else. But then along came quasars, then pulsars, then black holes--bizarre objects that have made the universe a decidedly more interesting place.

Now another oddball has joined this menagerie of improbable cosmic beasts. On Aug. 27, a burst of electromagnetic energy smashed against the earth's atmosphere, ripping apart air molecules, disrupting radio communications and knocking a couple of satellites temporarily offline. The most likely source of the power surge, scientists announced last week: a starquake on a new kind...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!