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Coloured image of a gamma-ray burst

Coloured image of a gamma-ray burst

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gamma-ray burst. Coloured image of a gamma-ray burst, an extremely powerful burst of gamma radiation that flares and then disappears in a matter of seconds. The burst shown here was detected by the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (GRO) on 31 January 1993 and was 1000 times brighter than any previously known gamma-ray source. In the image, red represents the highest level of emission, declining through yellow, green and blue. Theories about gamma-ray bursts include that they involve energy release from neutron stars, or from a collision between two neutron stars or two black holes. They are extra-galactic objects, many at very high redshift.

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