Friday, March 21, 2008
Cosmic Blast Detected from Billions of Years Ago by NASA Swift Satellite
The NASA Swift satellite detected the brightest cosmic explosion ever recorded from the Earth with the naked-eye on March 19 as a massive gamma ray burst of energy known as GRB 080319B half-way across the universe or 7.5 billion light years away. Gamma ray bursts are among the most violent phenomenon produced in the universe, [NASA Video about Swift].
Gamma ray bursts occur when huge stars use up all their fuel and their core collapses, forming black holes or neutron stars that release bursts of gamma rays, ejecting particles into space at nearly the speed of light and generating afterglows. National Geographic reports more on the record-setting explosion.