Skip to comments.Space Explosion Is Farthest Thing Ever Seen (gamma-ray burst about 13 billion light-years away)
Posted on 04/28/2009 8:54:57 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
A stellar explosion has smashed the record for most distant object in the known universe.
The gamma-ray burst came from about 13 billion light-years away, and represents a relic from when the universe was just 630 million years old.
"It easily surpassed the most distant galaxies and quasars," said Edo Berger, an astrophysicist at Harvard University and a leading member of the team that first demonstrated the burst's origin. "In fact, it showed that we can use these spectacular events to pinpoint the first generation of stars and galaxies."
"The burst most likely arose from the explosion of a massive star," said Derek Fox, an astrophysicist at Penn State University. "We're seeing the demise of a star and probably the birth of a black hole in one of the universe's earliest stellar generations."
Gamma-ray bursts mark the dying explosion of large stars that have run out of fuel. The collapsing star cores form either black holes or neutron stars that create an intense burst of high-energy gamma-rays and form some of the brightest explosions in the early universe.
A light-year is the distance that light can travel in a year, or about 6 trillion miles (10 trillion kilometers). So astronomers are seeing this particular burst as it existed 13 billion years ago, because the light took that long to reach Earth observers.
NASA's Swift satellite first detected the ten-second-long gamma-ray burst in the early morning on April 23, and quickly swung about to point its Ultraviolet/Optical and X-Ray telescopes.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Once a gamma-ray burst is detected from space, other telescopes take a look. Here, the fading infrared afterglow of GRB 090423 appears in the center of this false-color image taken with the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii. The burst is the farthest cosmic explosion yet seen. Credit: Gemini Observatory/NSF/AURA, D. Fox and A. Cucchiara (Penn State Univ.) and E. Berger (Harvard Univ.)
I suppose this could be accurate, but I find it surprising. It seems almost like watching the Big Bang occur.
How was it determined that this was “about 13 billion light-years away”?
No pictures of you-know-who!
Ummmm....I don't get it. If this is right, we are assuming that the universe was as large (the expansion from 13 billion years) as it is today.
Can someone explain to this layman how a start can form and explode within 630million years, while our star has existed for at least 4.5 billion years?
Whether or not you agree with the appellation of "light years" this is the result you get when you use that method.
It's a long way away, Fur Shur. "Over yonder" if you catch my drift.
Different star, different mass, different gravity ~ happens all the time.
We've been exploding outward with the expansion of the Universe, so that explosion of 13 billion years ago was, it turns out, lagging behind us a bit.
The one with the extra long tape.
Because our star slept in a Holiday Inn last night.
All of this distance hoopla is based on the red shift...but that is now in serious question by a Scientist who was an associate of Hubble...we had a thread on that....will see if I can find it.
Hypergiant stars (100+ solar masses) have incredibly short lifespans (1 million years) compared to main sequence (our sun .. 1 solar mass and 10 billion years).
This has always made me wonder....
If this light was emitted 13 billion years ago,
And our galaxy probably did not even exist at that time,
And the universe had not expanded to the current region of our galaxy yet,
And this light has traveled 13 billion light years to get here,
How did the matter that makes up our galaxy out-run this light so that we could be here when the light eventually arrived 13 billion years later?
hmmmm... I must be dumb.