NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Gamma-ray burst during the collapse of a massive star, artwork. The core of the star has collapsed, forming a black hole surrounded by a disk of accreting matter (centre). Within a few seconds, jets of matter (yellow) are ejected at near the speed of light. The jets of matter, in conjunction with vigorous winds blowing off the accretion disk inside, shatter the star within seconds, creating a supernova event. The jets interact with interstellar material generating a gamma-ray burst (magenta). Observations of a very energetic supernova, associated with a long gamma-ray burst in the constellation Leo in 2003 have provided evidence for this collapsar model of the origin of some gamma-ray bursts.
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