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Gamma Ray Burst 11 Billion Years ago

By: Elizabeth Nelson

The findings concluding a gamma ray burst 11 billion years ago were presented at an international meeting on gamma ray bursts in Rome recently. Gamma ray bursts can be defined as "mysterious flashes of high-energy light that occur about once a day." These bursts are said to be the most powerful explosions in the universe by Keven Hurley (University of California- Berkeley physicist).

As reported by Reuters, a gamma ray burst 11 billion years ago caused the glow in the sky in January of 2000. The burst happened in the constellation of Carina, the Keel, which is a southern constellation.

This glow left astronomers puzzled for eight months, but it was determined that the gamma ray bursting caused the glow. A cluster of interplanetary space probes was used to make this discovery. The gamma ray burst was more than likely caused by a monstrous dying star. This dying star is said to be over 30 times the size of our sun.

This particular gamma ray burst is 11 billion light years away. Before the detection of this, the record holder was 9 billion light years old.

These bursts are not visible from Earth because they are absorbed by the atmosphere. They are detected by special spacecraft. The spacecrafts that are credited with this discovery is Ulysses, operated by NASA and the European Space Agency, NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous; and the Italian Bepposax spacecraft.