A press release from the Carnegie Institute today described a recent paper by astronomers that might have identified a star in the Milky Way that might go supernova sometime in the future. The star QU Carinae, is a cataclysmic variable, a binary system in which material dumped from one star onto another periodically causes an outburst of X-rays.
I emailed Stella Kafka, the lead scientist of the research paper, to find out how far away QU Carinae is and how soon it might go supernova. She responded as follows:
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