MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
This is a view of a Wolf-Rayet star that has exploded in a gamma ray burst (GRB) event. Two jets have erupted out of the core, through the surrounding nebula (blue). This is the collapsar theory of GRBs, which says GRBs result from the collapse of the core of a massive star, like Type II supernovae but even more powerful. The spin or magnetic field of the black hole forms jets from surrounding material that is being ejected at near the speed of light. The jets are the source of the gamma rays of a GRB, a massive short-lived energy burst, hundreds of times brighter than an ordinary supernova.
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