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The Question

(Submitted May 03, 1999)

Who discovered what a supernova is? How did they discover it?

The Answer

Fritz Zwicky, Walter Baade, and Rudolph Minkowski developed the theories about what supernovae are in the 1930s.

http://lycos.infoplease.com/ce5/CE050177.html

It took a while for these to be confirmed by various techniques. (e.g. the discovery of pulsars inside supernova remnants.)

David Palmer and Samar Safi-Harb
for Ask an Astrophysicist

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