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A Gamma Ray Burst 7.5 Billion Light Years Away Visible with the Naked Eye

03/25/2008 08:00PM

A Gamma Ray Burst 7.5 Billion Light Years Away Visible with the Naked Eye

A powerful Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) detected on March 19, 2008 by NASA's Swift satellite in the constellation Bo├Âtes has shattered the record for the most distant object that could be seen with the naked eye. GRBs are the most luminous explosions in the universe since the big bang and this one occurred halfway across the visible universe.


<br>Special Thanks to Jef Spalding for pointing out this incredible news item. <br><br>Thanks Jef. <br>
  • ddrake [Darren Drake]
  • 03/27/2008 08:01AM
Does anyone know how long the burst peaked at naked eye visibility?

  • mclemens [Mike Clemens]
  • 03/26/2008 06:59PM

  • vbrad [victor bradford]
  • 03/27/2008 01:13PM
Does anyone know if the burster's afterglow is still visible (with a 'scope), and also where it is located in our night sky so at least we can look in that direction?<br>Thanks!
  • Jef [Jef Spalding]
  • 03/29/2008 05:26PM
I was hoping to catch a glimpse of it also. Apparently its not visible at all any more with even small scopes. Just look at Bootes and think about what actually occurred. <br> However, you'd think there would be some additional energy afterglow from such a HUGE event. I suspect time will tell, like it did when 1987A left the symmetrical rings and the resulting unpredictable changes that occurred. Although 1987A was CONSIDERABLY closer, I suspect the swift telescope(s) will tell a fascinating future follow up story. Being SO far away, it might prove to be a new kind of object, rather than just a 'little' supernova in a nearby galaxy. <br>On a different note, it makes you wonder how often objects observed at the eyepiece while scanning the night sky that may have beheld such an event; to forever gone unnoticed.