A giant star in a faraway galaxy recently ended its life with a dust-shrouded whimper instead of the more typical bang in this artist's concept based on data from Spitzer's Space Telescope.

While searching the skies for black holes using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers discovered a giant supernova that was smothered in its own dust. In this artist's rendering, an outer shell of gas and dust -- which erupted from the star hundreds of years ago -- obscures the supernova within. This event in a distant galaxy hints at one possible future for the brightest star system in our own Milky Way.

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