News

Gamma view of a big blast

By
1:20pm, December 5, 2004

Astronomers have for the first time used extremely high-energy gamma rays to image a celestial body.

Paula Chadwick of the University of Durham in England and her colleagues recorded flashes of blue light known as Cerenkov radiation, which is produced when Earth's atmosphere stops incoming gamma rays.

The team aimed the High Energy Stereoscopic System, an array of four telescopes in Namibia, at a supernova remnant in the Southern Hemisphere. The remnant is an expanding shell of debris left behind by a stellar explosion that sky watchers would have witnessed about 1,000 years ago.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from Science News