NASA's Swift satellite has for the first time caught a normal supernova at the moment of its birth. ''We usually only get to see them a good few days after they exploded, usually when they go bright at optical wavelengths,'' the Telegraph quoted Dr Kim Page as saying. This time, however, the scientists were able to up a tell- tale burst of X rays, which occured at the outset. Thanks to a satellite, ''we got on to it in nine seconds,'' Dr Page added.
This new supernova, named SN2008D is closer to Earth - at 90 million light years - than any type of supernova ever observed in the act of exploding.