Learn How Supernovas Work With Stephen Colbert

A Guinness record-breaking demonstration of physics in action

Stephen Colbert was fascinated to learn about the recent discovery of the largest supernova ever recorded. Though it happened 3.8 billion years ago, the light from this recorded event only made it to Earth one year ago.

In discussing how stars go supernova, theoretical physicist Brian Greene shared an experiment with Colbert and his audience that modeled how supernovas first collapse in on themselves, before firing matter out in all directions like a cannon.

Greene used a Galilean cannon to demonstrate–and broke a Guinness World Record in the process.