NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gamma-ray burst mechanism, illustration. In the most common type of gamma-ray burst, illustrated here, a dying massive star forms a black hole (left), which drives a particle jet into space (right). Light from across the electromagnetic spectrum (gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, and radio waves) arises from hot gas near the black hole, collisions within the jet, and from the jet's interaction with its surroundings. The burst is shown divided into two areas: prompt emission and the afterglow. Shells of expanding matter collide to form internal shock waves, followed by collision with the ambient medium to form an external shock wave. Image published in 2013.
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