Gamma-ray burst goes the cosmic distance
Astronomers have identified a new record holder for most distant object in the universe — a gamma-ray burst emanating from a region 13.035 billion light-years from Earth.
On April 23, NASA’s Swift satellite discovered the burst — a 10-second flash of highly energetic radiation believed to mark the explosive collapse of a massive star into a black hole. Within three hours of Swift’s detection, astronomers recorded the burst’s infrared afterglow using the U.K. Infra-Red Telescope and the Gemini North Telescope, both on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. Those observations, reported online (gcn.