News & CommentAstronomy

Gamma Blast From Way, Way Back

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Science  24 Apr 1998:
Vol. 280, Issue 5363, pp. 514
DOI: 10.1126/science.280.5363.514a

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COLUMBUS, OHIO-- A gamma ray burst that was picked up by satellites last December originated 10 billion years ago at the very edge of the visible universe, observers reported here last Sunday at a meeting of the American Physical Society. In just the last year, astronomers have learned that these flashes, which come about once a day from random points in the sky, originate in distant galaxies, implying that their sources are the most energetic events in the universe. But the spectacular distance of this event could force theorists to come up with still more energy to stoke the mysterious bursts.