When massive stars die, they do so in a spectacular fashion. Supernovæ come in two different varietiescalled, quite logically, type I and type II. Type I supernovæare thought to be white dwarfs which are pushed over the edge of the Chandrasekhar limit, which is named in honor of Subrahyanman Chandrasekhar, who first used physics to calculate the value. The enlarged white dwarf would then become unstable and detonate. These are known as carbon detonation supernovæ. Type II supernovæare massive red supergiant stars which have quickly evolved to the stage where many layers of nuclear fusion are found in the interior of the star. When the evolved star reaches iron fusion, the core collapses. On the rebound, we have a huge release of neutrinos and quite a bit of visible light as well. Most recently, astronomers were treated to a relatively nearby supernova in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Here’s a NOVA documentarythat was made soon after the discovery with all of the details of that discovery. Supernova 1987ahas been fading since, and has left behind some interesting features, such as light rings. Other supernova remnants may be found throughout the sky. The last nearby supernova was over four hundred years ago.Any star’s life ultimately ends as one of three possible outcomes:white dwarf, neutron star, or black hole.