Powerful Gamma-Ray Burst Detected Close To Milky Way

Powerful Gamma-Ray Burst Detected Close To Milky Way
November 21, 2013

The jet from a Gamma-ray burst emerging at nearly lightspeed.  Credit: Credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde

The jet from a Gamma-ray burst emerging at nearly lightspeed.
Credit: Credit: NASA/Swift/Cruz deWilde

Overview Animation of Gamma-ray Burst

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.

Continue Learning: http://www.redorbit.com/news/space/1113010268/supernova-unleashes-monster-gamma-ray-burst-112113/

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