A chaotic star is slowly heading towards a violent death as astronomers watch in real time

The bright, hot star Wolf-Rayet 124 (WR 124) as seen by the James Webb Space Telescope. (Image credit: NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI, Webb ERO Production Team)

Every star is aging, but astronomers rarely get to watch it in real time. Now, they’ve taken a front row seat to an extraordinarily chaotic aging star – and find he’s heading towards a stunningly violent death.

The star is located in the nearby Triangulum galaxy (also known as Messier 33), in the middle of a transition into a class of extremely unstable stars called Wolf Wright stars. New observations show that the star has begun to emit a new signal that was not seen when the star was first spotted in 2018.

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