Supernovae are the most energetic events ever observed in our Galaxy (believed to occur roughly every 10-30 years). A core collapse supernova explodes with about roughly 1000 times the total energy output of our Sun over its entire 10-billion-year lifetime, but in a period of only about 10 seconds. Some 99% of the energy released from a supernova is in the form of neutrinos, elusive sub-atomic particles that rarely interact with normal matter. Only about 1% of the energy release goes into the explosion itself, and only about 1% of that is finally released as light....which is still enough to make a supernova as bright as an entire galaxy for a brief time.
In 1987, a supernova was observed in the Large Magellanic Cloud, and for the first, and as yet only time, neutrinos from beyond our galaxy were unambiguously detected. Only about 20 neutrino events were detected from this distant explosion (~170,000 light years from Earth), but even those were enough to confirm the basic concepts of core collapse supernova.
Over the last decade, these researchers have modified their detector concepts, but they still intend to make measurements of such a neutrino burst from a distant supernova in the salt mine at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The OMNIS collaboration is considering installing a prototype neutrino detector to capture a supernova in our galaxy as its wave of neutrinos passes through the underground drifts at WIPP. OMNIS stands for "Observatory for Multi-flavor NeutrInos from Supernovae".