Supernova stars are spectacular stars which suddenly get much brighter. This occurs in certain stars that are reaching the end of their lifetime.
Before they go all-out supernova, certain large stars undergo a sort of “mini-explosion,” throwing a good-sized chunk of their material off into space. Though several models predict this behavior and evidence from supernovae points in this direction, actually observations of such pre-explosion outbursts have been rare. In new research led by Dr. Eran Ofek of the Weizmann Institute, Rehovot, Israel, scientists found such an outburst taking place a short time – just one month – before a massive star underwent a supernova explosion.