Powerful Gamma-Ray Burst Detected Close To Milky Way
November 21, 2013
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Astronomers from around the world have compiled data from satellites and observatories to help explain the most powerful gamma-ray burst ever recorded, according to a study published in the journal Science.
Led by researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute and the University of Leicester, the international team said this gamma-ray burst occurred relatively close to the Milky Way. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are violent bursts of gamma radiation typically associated with an exploding massive star.
When a star explodes as a supernova it releases the gamma-ray bursts, which are so bright that they can be seen from across the universe. Telescopes underneath Earth’s atmosphere are unable to detect this light, however; so astronomers rely on space-based observatories such as the Swift satellite to pick up on them.
Swift monitors the skies and typically discovers about 100 gamma-ray bursts each year, but the one they found this past April was particularly unusual.
- NASA sees ‘watershed’ cosmic blast in unique detail (askkuiper.wordpress.com)
- What caused the monster gamma-ray burst of April 2013? (earthsky.org)