When massive stars die, they do not fade gently into the good night. They collapse in on themselves and explode. It’s called a supernova, and “it is the largest explosion that takes place in space,” as NASA explains. Today in Science, astronomers report they’ve found the brightest such explosion ever observed. (To be more specific, it’s the most luminous ever observed. Luminosity is the measure of how much light and energy an object emits. The supernova still looks dim to us so so far away.)

This supernova — unceremoniously called ASASSN-15lh — is about twice as powerful as the last record breaker and some 200 times more powerful than a typical supernova. At its peak, it was about 50 times brighter than the entire Milky Way galaxy. The supernova occurred not in our own galaxy, but in one extremely far away (its exact distance is unknown). The image at the top of this post is an artist’s conception of what the supernova would look like from a (relatively close) planet about 10,000 light-years away from the supernova’s galaxy. From that vantage point, it would be the brightest thing in the night sky. FULL REPORT