March 24th, 2008

clarke childhood's end

Astro-image of the Day: gamma-ray burst

NASA just released this little animation of the gamma-ray burst of March 19 - and it was visible to the naked eye - and the most-distant object so visible! If you had been observing the right place in the sky, you would have seen this:

Click the image to see the story.

Here's what it looked like in x-ray:

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Here's a page with more info about the observation.

Notably, this was only one of four GR bursts detected by the Swift X-ray Telescope that day. Swift astronomer Judith Racusin said, "coincidentally, the passing of Arthur C. Clarke seems to have set the universe ablaze with gamma ray bursts."