The 2012 explosion of SN2009ip raises questions about our understanding of the late stages of massive star evolution. Here we present a comprehensive study of SN2009ip during its remarkable re-brightening(s). High-cadence photometric and spectroscopic observations from the GeV to the radio band obtained from a variety of ground-based and space facilities (including the VLA,Swift,Fermi,HST and XMM) constrain SN2009ip to be a low energy (E~ 10^50 erg for an ejecta mass ~ 0.5 Msun) and likely asymmetric explosion in a complex medium shaped by multiple eruptions of the restless progenitor star. Most of the energy is radiated as a result of the shock breaking out through a dense shell of material located at 5x10^14 cm with M~0.1 Msun,ejected by the precursor outburst ~40 days before the major explosion. We interpret the NIR excess of emission as signature of dust vaporization of material located further out (R>4x 10^15 cm),the origin of which has to be connected with documented mass loss episodes in the previous years. Our modeling predicts bright neutrino emission associated with the shock break-out if the cosmic ray energy is comparable to the radiated energy. We connect this phenomenology with the explosive ejection of the outer layers of the massive progenitor star,that later interacted with material deposited in the surroundings by previous eruptions. Future observations will reveal if the luminous blue variable (LBV) progenitor star survived. Irrespective of whether the explosion was terminal,SN2009ip brought to light the existence of new channels for sustained episodic mass-loss,the physical origin of which has yet to be identified.
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