MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gamma ray burst. Computer artwork of a gamma ray burst. These are extremely high-energy events, which flare up at random places throughout the universe. The burst, a flash of radiation seen as two jets, may be as bright as the rest of the universe combined for a few seconds. They are thought to be extremely distant, up to 12 billion light years away. They may be the result of a neutron star being torn apart by a black hole. The conditions within the burst itself, a volume only 100 miles across , are thought to be similar to those that were present about one millisecond (one thousandth of a second) after the Big Bang.
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