TOP TEN SPACE PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008

TOP SPACE PHOTOS: Most Viewed of 2008
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3. Gamma-Ray Burst Visible to Naked Eye

In March scientists detected an interstellar explosion so bright that it was briefly visible to the naked eye—from 7.5 billion light-years away.

Images captured by NASA's Swift satellite show two views of the unusual gamma-ray burst, an outpouring of high-energy radiation and particles thought to follow the collapse of a massive star.

The burst crushed the previous record holder for most distant object visible without assistance—the galaxy M33—by three orders of magnitude.

More about this picture >>
—Images courtesy NASA/Swift/Stefan Immler, et al.
 
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