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Gamma ray burst 080916C

Gamma ray burst 080916C

C042/6278

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Gamma ray burst 080916C. Composite image of the largest gamma ray burst (GRB) ever observed. This explosion occurred in the constellation Carina, 12.2 billion light years from Earth, on 15th September 2008. GRBs are extremely high-energy events. The burst of radiation may be as bright as the rest of the universe combined for a few seconds. Most observed GRBs are thought to be generated during a supernova or superluminous supernova as a high-mass star collapses to form a neutron star or a black hole. Image taken by the ultraviolet/optical telescope and the X-ray telescope on NASA's Swift Gamma-ray Explorer satellite.

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