Mar 22, 2008

Largest Cosmic Blast ever seen with naked Eye

Scientists have detected an interesting interstellar explosion, so bright that it was briefly visible to the naked eye, from 7.5 billion light-years away. Viewers looking at the right patch of night sky on Wednesday would have seen several afterglows from the massive gamma-ray burst. Well, it was slightly brighter than the faintest visible stars.

The burst was named GRB 080319B, was captured by NASA's Swift satellite. The above image shows the spectacular explosion captured by using X-Ray Telescope (left) and Optical/Ultraviolet Telescope (right) of Swift satellite. All total, four bursts were detected on that day. GRB 080319B is located more than halfway across the visible universe.

Gamma-ray bursts occur when massive stars run out of fuel and collapse, rapidly pouring out enormous amounts of high-energy radiation and particles. Acting like high-power cosmic blowtorches, the particle jets can also heat interstellar clouds to create bright afterglows. Link


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