'Monster' gamma ray burst blasts into space 3.7 billion light years away
Date published: 25th November 2013
'This burst was a once-in-a-century cosmic event,' said Nasa astrophysics chief Paul Hertz.
Nasa telescopes have been seeing bursts of various sizes for more than two decades, spotting one every couple of days.
However, this one, witnessed on 27 April this year, set records, according to four studies published in the journal Science.
Researchers say it took the light from this event 3.7 billion years to reach us.
burst is said to have flooded Nasa monitoring instruments with five
times the energy of its nearest competitor, a 1999 blast, said
University of Alabama at Huntsville astrophysicist Rob Preece, author of
one of the studies.
started with a star that had 20 to 30 times the mass of our sun but was
only a couple of times wider, meaning it was incredibly dense.
Researchers claimed it exploded in a certain violent way.
In general, gamma ray bursts are 'the most titanic explosions in the universe,' and this one was so big that some of the telescope instruments hit their peak, continued Preece. 'I call it the monster.'
of the main reasons the April burst was so bright was that relative to
the thousands of other gamma ray bursts astronomers have seen, it was
pretty close by cosmic standards.
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