Scientists are agog over the brightest exploding star in 383 years

It was a glacial period, and in southern Africa the climate was cooler than it is today. Giraffes, hyenas and baboons abounded, along with now extinct giant horses and hartebeests and buffalo with 13-ft. horn spans. Neanderthal man had not yet emerged, but intelligent beings already roamed the savanna, upright creatures known today as archaic Homo sapiens, who could fashion crude axes, picks and cleavers out of stone. On a clear night 170,000 years ago, one of these ancestors of man may have looked up at a milky band of stars stretching across the sky, his eyes pausing briefly on a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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